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Memorial services held for nurse duped by DJs in royal prank call

Leon Neal / AFP - Getty Images

Jacintha Saldanha's son Junal, husband Benedict Barboza and daughter Lisha leave Westminster Cathedral in central London following a service of Thanksgiving for the life of the nurse on Saturday.


Updated at 9:17 a.m. ET: LONDON -- The family of a nurse who was duped into putting through a prank phone call to the hospital ward of the pregnant Duchess of Cambridge delivered a tearful tribute to her on Saturday, saying her death had left "an unfillable void."

Jacintha Saldanha, 46, was found hanging from a wardrobe in staff lodgings at London's King Edward VII Hospital days after she answered the hoax phone call from two Australian DJs.

Wiping away tears outside London's Roman Catholic Westminster Cathedral where the family attended Mass, her husband Benedict said, "part of me has been ripped out." 

"The events of the past week have shattered our lives and we barely have the strength to withstand the grief and sorrow," he told reporters, thanking Prince William and his wife Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, for kind words as well as Prime Minister David Cameron for a message of condolence.

"Nineteen years of togetherness with a strong bond of affection and understanding will be cherished forever in my life. Your loss is a very painful one and nobody can take that place in my life ever again. I love you and miss you forever."

Her children Lisha, 14, and Junal, 16, spoke of a generous mother who had worked tirelessly to provide for them.

Royal prank call: Duped nurse was found hanging, also had wrist injuries

"The house is an empty dwelling without your presence. We are shattered and there is an unfillable void in our lives," Lisha said. "We love you mum, sleep in peace and please watch over us until we meet again in heaven."

Leon Neal / AFP - Getty Images

Lisha Saldanha, the daughter of late nurse Jacinda Saldanha, looks on as her family read statements outside Westminster Cathedral on Saturday.

A private memorial service was held Friday at the King Edward VII Hospital, where Saldanha worked, and another at St Teresa's Church in Bristol, where the nurse's family lived.

AFP - Getty Images

An undated family photograph of Jacintha Saldanha, the nurse who died after being hoaxed by an Australian radio show trying to reach Prince William's wife in London, is shown to journalists in Shirva town, some 250 miles from the southern Indian city of Bangalore, on Dec. 8, 2012.

"King Edward VII's is a small hospital, with a tight-knit team," John Lofthouse, the hospital's chief executive, said in a statement. "Everybody knew Jacintha, and we were all left deeply shocked by her tragic death following the hoax telephone call. Today's Service was a chance for everyone here to pay their respects and remember a dear colleague."

Memorial services for Saldanha were held Thursday in India.

Saldanha lived and worked in London during the week, but traveled to see her family in Bristol on weekends.

She was found by a colleague and a member of security staff at King Edward VII's Hospital on Friday, coroner's officer Lynda Martindill told a formal hearing into the circumstances of her death called an inquest.

DJs speak out, say they're 'heartbroken' over death of nurse in royal hoax call

Police detective chief inspector James Harman told the hearing that the married mother-of-two had injuries to her wrists. 

He also said that three handwritten notes were found, two at the scene and one among her belongings.

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