19-year-old Bronte Doyne died on March 23, 2013, only 16 months after she first expressed that she was having severe stomach pains. She expressed her fears through text messages, tweets, and personal diary entries. She even pleaded for help on Twitter after realizing that medical staff were not taking her seriously as her disease brought her closer and closer to death. “I got so angry because the doctor was so rude and just shrugged his shoulders. He gave me a sarcastic comment like you can sleep here if you want but they won’t do anything. So I just have to wait for another hospital appointment.” she wrote in her diary.
She was thought to have appendicitis when she was first admitted to the hospital in September 2011. It turned out that she had fibrolamellar hepatocellular carcinoma, a very rare form of liver cancer. It only affects 200 people a year worldwide. She was only 18 when she was diagnosed with the cancer and surgery to treat it. Doctors told her that she would survive and not to worry about anything. But Bronte and her family knew that the cancer had a high risk of recurrence which could eventually kill her. They were not to worry about anything. But Bronte and her family knew that the cancer had a high risk of recurrence which could eventually kill her. They were right.
After months of not being taken seriously, even being told to, “stop Googling your symptoms”, Bronte Doyne was finally admitted to the hospital where she died 10 days later. What is most infuriating is that she had been diagnosed for fibrolamellar just 16 months earlier. It would stand to reason that medics would take her complaints seriously, but they did not. Instead they were annoyed with the family because they were doing their own research online. The Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust now admits that they “did not listen with sufficient attention”… ‘We apologise that our communication with Bronte and her family fell short..” And further saying that they must embrace the “internet age”. Yes, we’d say so.
The following are a few of her diary entries.
What’s sad is that she is absolutely right.