Jerrie Williams is a blogger on the Beauregard Daily News website. The name of her blog is C.O.P.E. Community Organized Parents in Education. This blog is syndicated statewide to all GateHouse websites. She will not only be blogging about local ...
Jerrie Williams is a blogger on the Beauregard Daily News website. The name of her blog is C.O.P.E. Community Organized Parents in Education. This blog is syndicated statewide to all GateHouse websites. She will not only be blogging about local education concerns, but information about resources for parental research on different subjects concerning children and their well being. Jerrie Williams is the mother of three autistic children. Her journey began in 1999, when she discovered that her children were not developing according to the national mind stone charts. This was after they had received immunizations and developed reactions to them. She later learned the immunizations contained an agent that her children were allergic to, which led to their developmental delays. She moved her children to Georgia to be treated by a specialist in autism and brain injury in 2000. Since then she has been searching and discovering several research-based interventions and resources to educate, support and assist in the recovery of autism. She moved to Louisiana in August, 2011, and has been involved in educating the community about autism and the resources available to parents of autistic children as well as adults with autism. She has been instrumental in helping the Beauregard Parish school system to design an individualized curriculum that was suited for the educational needs of her children as well as other special needs children. Her children have since blossomed with this curriculum and continue to thrive. She will continue in her journey as a mother and an advocate for others.
Michael Christian and Mel Greig, the Australian DJs who prank called the London hospital where Kate Middleton was being treated, say they're "shattered" and "devastated" by the subsequent suicide of the nurse who fielded the call.
In interviews with two Australian talk shows, Christian and Grieg said they never expected the stunt would result in the death of Jacintha Saldanha, a 46-year-old mother of two. "We're still trying to get our heads around everything, trying to make sense of the situation," Christian told Australia's Today Tonight. "I don't think that anyone could have predicted what could have happened. It was just a tragic set of circumstances."
"It doesn't seem real because you just couldn't foresee something like that happening from a prank call," Grieg added. "It was never meant to go that far. It was meant to be a silly little prank that so many people have done before. This wasn't meant to happen."
The DJs, who host a show for Australia's 2day FM, have voluntarily suspended themselves from the station in the wake of Saldanha's death. When asked when or if they'd be returning to work, a tearful Grieg said that's the least of their worries right now. "Our careers aren't important in the moment," she said. "There is nothing that can make me feel worse than what I feel right now and for what I feel for the family. We are so sorry that this has happened to them."
Grieg added that she and Christian have not reached out to Saldanha's family because they don't feel it would be appropriate to do so. But, she said, they wanted to use the televised interview "to say that we are thinking of you, and if we could call you we would want to reach out to you. If we played any involvement in her death, then we're very sorry for that."
In a call to the hospital last week, Grieg and Christian pretended to be Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles, putting on poor British accents and asking for information about Middleton, who was hospitalized with severe morning sickness at the time. Saldanha answered the call at the reception desk and patched it through to Middleton's room, where a nurse provided detailed information about Middleton's well-being, thinking she was speaking to members of the Royal Family.
"The call ... wasn't about speaking to Kate," Christian told Today Tonight. "It wasn't about trying to get a scoop or anything. I mean, we assumed that we'd be hung up on and that would be that. ... The joke was always on us, not anyone else. It wasn't about trying to fool someone. We just assumed with the voices that we put on, we were going to get told off and that was the gag."
The interview was broadcast on Christian and Grieg's show, and picked up by websites and news outlets around the world. Two days later, Saldanha was found unconscious near the hospital and was pronounced dead by the time police arrived at the scene.
After being released from the hospital last week, Middleton suffered another setback this weekend, a St. James Palace spokesperson told Us Weekly, resulting in Prince William pulling out of an official engagement Sunday to tend to his wife.
Watch Grieg and Christian's Today Tonight interview here. Do you think they're to blame for Saldanha's death?
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