Happy New Year! You have cancer!

Holiday Harbinger

A doctor's office in England tried to wish its patients a "Merry Christmas!" and a "Happy New Year!" — but instead, the Askern Medical Practice accidentally texted thousands of them that they had aggressive lung cancer, the BBC reports.

"Diagnosis — Aggressive lung cancer with metastases," reads the comically misfired message. "Thanks."

The message also instructed recipients to start filling out a form to claim benefits for having a terminal disease. Yikes.

It would take close to an hour before a correction was sent out, offering "sincere apologies for the previous text message sent" in error.

"Our message to you should have read We wish you a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year," the office wrote.

A Mean One

The timing couldn't have been worse. The text was sent out just two days before Christmas, and understandably, it dampened the holiday spirit for those who received the distressing news.

One patient who was waiting on test results, Sarah Hargreaves, told the BBC that she "felt sick to my teeth and broke down."

"I had just had a mole removed and was awaiting a result from a biopsy," Hargreaves continued, "and I had been to hospital as my smear test came back abnormal, so yes, I was very worried."

Another patient, Carl Chegwin, who received the message along with his mother, said the text "was enough to break someone."

"The first thing I thought was, 'is this some kind of sick joke?'" he told the broadcaster. "They've just told people a few days before Christmas they've got terminal lung cancer. They can't do that."

We've probably all sent an embarrassing text to the wrong person by mistake, but almost certainly none as embarrassing as this.

More on cancer: Doctors Test Brain Implant That Destroys Tumors

Share This Article