Patients at a doctors' office in one English city got mistaken text messages saying they had a serious disease rather than the intended holiday greetings.
The Askern Medical Practice in the city of Doncaster meant to send messages two days before Dec. 25, Christmas, wishing their patients a "merry Christmas and happy New Year,” but instead sent out texts saying the recipient had aggressive lung cancer.
An hour later a second message informed patients of the error, apologizing, and gave holiday greetings. The GP surgery has some 8,000 patients.
Sarah Hargreaves, a patient who was waiting for medical test results, said she "broke down" when she got the text, the BBC reported.
Another patient said he initially wondered if the first text was "some kind of sick joke."
No one at the GP office was available to comment to the BBC.