An Australian reporter is full of praise for a viewer whose message of concern prompted her to seek medical attention, after the journalist appeared on TV with what looked like a large lump protruding from her throat.
“Has Antoinette Lattouf had her thyroid checked? I am not being smart or trolling just concerned with what I saw on TV today,” a viewer called Wendy McCoy wrote on Facebook to the 10 daily show.
Lattouf said she was initially taken aback when her editor passed on the message, particularly when it transpired McCoy isn’t a doctor but was simply reminded of something a friend had suffered when she saw Lattouf on-screen. However, the journalist decided to err on the side of caution and watch back over the clip – and what she saw left her “shocked.”
“It looked like I had an Adam’s Apple. Something was definitely protruding from my neck,” she wrote afterwards. “Given I have a family history of thyroid cancer and other [relatives] with a range of thyroid-related illnesses, I went and saw my G.P.”
After a series of tests and checks, doctors told Lattouf that she had a large cyst requiring surgery, as well as an autoimmune disease. Though the cyst is benign, because it’s located inside the throat just above the journalist’s voice-box, it would likely start to impact her breathing, speech and swallowing if not promptly removed.
Lattouf wholeheartedly thanked the viewer for the “random act of kindness” that helped her seek early intervention for the medical condition: “To Wendy, I say, thank you for caring enough to reach out to me, a complete stranger, and urging me to see a doctor.”
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The Australian is not the first person to have a worrying medical condition flagged by an eagle-eyed viewer. In 2006, Irish politician and then-minister Conor Lenihan was diagnosed with a non-malignant facial tumor after a surgeon watching him on a televised interview raised concerns.
In 2009, an Australian TV host was diagnosed with thyroid cancer after someone contacted her to say they’d seen what looked like a lump in her throat while she was on-air.
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