8000 patients received a ‘dying cancer’ text instead of holiday greetings from Clinic
Instead of offering Christmas wishes, a doctor’s office in the United Kingdom texted more than 8,000 individuals the devastating news that they all had terminal cancer.
Apparently, on Friday, two days before Christmas, an automatic letter from Askern Medical Practice in Doncaster warned of a “diagnosis — Aggressive lung cancer with metastases,” as reported by the BBC.
Many people who received the form, which invited patients to provide information about their terminal conditions, immediately broke down in tears.
Nonetheless, within the hour, the clinic replied with “sincere apologies for the previous text message sent.”
According to a captured image, the message read, “Our message to you should have read, ‘We wish you a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year,”
According to the BBC, approximately 8,000 people received the terrible mix-up when it was emailed to everyone on the practice’s patient list.
The inadvertent statement “was enough to break someone,” Carl Chegwin told the station.
He recounted his initial reaction: “The first thing I thought was, ‘is this some kind of sick joke?’
Chris Reed, 57, told The Telegraph that he received the message while waiting for the results of lung cancer tests; the message seemed to confirm his darkest fears and caused his spouse to burst into tears.
“They went from ‘you’ve got lung cancer’ to ‘merry Christmas’ in about an hour. Unbelievable,” remarked Reed, one of many terrified patients who had called the doctor’s office but had been unable to get through.
When Sarah Hargreaves, who was also awaiting cancer-test results at the time, received the SMS, she “felt sick to my teeth and broke down,” as she described it to the BBC.
In addition to the embarrassing mix-up, many in the practise were taken aback by the decision to relay such important news by text message.
The double shock experienced by one patient has been called into question by several.
“What if that message was meant for someone, and then they are told it’s a Christmas message, then again told, ‘Oh no, that was actually meant for you’?” Chegwin asked