Teen Told to 'Stop Googling' Her Symptoms Dies of Rare Cancer

bronte doyne

We've all trusted a little TOO much in "Dr. Google" -- you know, searching the Internet in the middle of the night for symptoms we or a family member has and scaring the bejesus out of ourselves in the meantime. And the majority of doctors will tell you -- beg you! -- to stay away from the Internet if you're looking for medical advice. But a heartbreaking news report out of the U.K. throws that theory into serious question. When a 19-year-old managed to correctly diagnose herself with Google, her real doctors wouldn't listen.


Just FYI, this story does NOT have a happy ending. And if you're prone to worrying, "Will this happen to me??" maybe stop reading now.

In 2011, Bronte Doyne was admitted to a hospital for suspected appendictis. Unfortunately, it later turned out to be an extremely rare form of liver cancer called fibrolamellar hepatocellular carcinoma that affects only 200 people in the world each year. But Doyne and her family were reassured by doctors that Bronte had a high survival rate after successfully undergoing surgery.

And when her parents read otherwise on the Internet -- because who WOULDN'T research their daughter's potentially fatal disease? -- Bronte's doctors told them to stop. Even though the site was legit and endorsed by the U.S. government.

In fact, Bronte's mom, Lorraine, told The Telegraph they received "a woeful lack of care and empathy" from doctors who apparently couldn't fathom anything true exists on the Internet.

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Over the next 16 months, Bronte's health deteriorated, and she chronicled her worries in texts and tweets. Doctors at the hospital assured her everything was A-okay. Even when Bronte's family doctor realized something was up and urged her to go to the emergency room, Bronte was told she didn't need to be seen.

Finally, someone realized Bronte's cancer had indeed returned and she was admitted to the hospital in March. Unfortunately, so much time had passed that there was nothing they could do. Bronte passed away ten days later.

The hospital, Nottingham University Hospital NHS Trust, issued a statement admitting they "did not listen with sufficient attention." They also concluded that they needed to finally accept "the Internet age."

Um, you think?

Bronte's mom is now working with the hospital's doctors to help them not be egotistical jerks. Oh, we mean "improve their relationship with patients." Pretty amazing of her to attempt to create something good from the devastating death of her child.

We get that doctors are busy. We also get that they've gone through so many years of med school.

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However, plenty of valid medical information exists online if you know where to look and to deny that is a mindblowingly huge, potentially fatal mistake.

Hopefully, Bronte's death will remind docs everywhere to take Dr. Google -- and their patients' concerns -- seriously.

Have you ever found something online that your doctor didn't know?

Image via Facebook/Bronte Doyne

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