“It has just been perseverance,” says her son, Junal Barboza, 21. “It’s just been a case of having to keep going. Keep going for her.”
The family is now funneling their grief into a new project that they hope will help the lives of others. Along with Saldanha’s widower, Benedict Barboza, 53, her children are helping to establish a hospital in Mangalore, India, in her honor.
Scheduled for completion in mid-2018, the hospital will “take care of the poor people, the sick people from the roadsides,” says Benedict, who has already built a playground for orphans in his wife’s name at the nearby Maria Nivas convent.
“My dad’s idea is really amazing,” Pinto says of the 200-bed facility in her mother’s hometown and final resting place. “She had plans to open a nursing home or do something for the elderly or the sick, so it’s something she would really want.”
Adds Junal: “She was the sort of person who would always go the extra mile to help a family member, and we’ve had a number of significant letters from people within the medical profession telling us just how good she was at her job.