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Mass held for nurse in British royal hoax

7:20 AM, Dec 15, 2012   |    comments
Relatives of late nurse Jacintha Saldanha, son Junal Saldanha (3-L), husband, Benedict Barboza (3-R), daughter Lisha Saldanha, family friend Stephen Almeida (L), and MP Keith Vaz leave Westminster Cathedral in central London following of a service of Thanksgiving for the life of Jacintha Saldanha on December 15, 2012. The children of a nurse found hanged after she was duped by a hoax phone call to the hospital treating Prince William's wife Catherine told a mass in her memory her death left 'an
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The death of Jacintha Saldanha, 46, on Dec. 7 is being investigated as an apparent suicide.

Saldanha's family gave an emotional tribute outside of London's Westminster Cathedral on Saturday following a memorial Mass mourning the loss of the mother of two.

Her husband Benedict, flanked by his two children, called Jacintha "the light of my darkness," saying through tears that "nobody can take that place in my life ever again."

"I feel a part of me has been ripped out," he said. "Without your beautiful smile and sparkling personality, the house is an empty place to live."

Saldanha's son Junal spoke of the encouragement he had received from his mother, whose priority for her children was a good education. "You were the core of the family who kept us together," he said. "You worked tirelessly to give us everything that we have today."

Saldanha answered the phone at London's King Edward VII Hospital when the DJs called seeking information about the Duchess of Cambridge, the former Kate Middleton, who was being treated for severe morning sickness.

The DJs impersonated Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles, and Saldanha was tricked into transferring the call to another nurse, who revealed private details about the duchess' condition.

Saldanha's daughter Lisha said she will miss her mother's laughter, saying the family is "shattered."

Her father, Benedict, expressed thanks for an outpouring of support following the death of Saldanha - singling out the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge for their kind words upon the loss of his wife.

The DJs, 2DayFM's Mel Greig and Michael Christian, apologized for the prank in emotional interviews on Australian TV, saying they never expected their call would be put through. The show was taken off the air and the DJs have been suspended.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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