Nicole McGuinness was searching for a beach house on HGTV's Beachfront Bargain Hunt, but got a life-saving phone call instead.
Dr. Erich Voigt, a New York-based ear, nose and throat surgeon from NYU Langone Health, told he was watching McGuinness' episode when he noticed a suspicious lump on her neck—something only a medical professional would consider alarming with the naked eye. "As a head and neck surgeon, I'm trained to sort of notice these things," he said.
This unlikely diagnosis is eerily similar to what happened to Tarek El Moussa in 2013. An eagle-eyed nurse was watching reruns of Flip or Flop when something caught her eye: a concerning lump on Tarek's neck, which turned out to be cancerous. (You can read more about Tarek’s )
After spotting the mass on McGuinness, Voigt immediately tried to find a way to warn her—but was faced with the challenge of not knowing her name because it wasn't mentioned on the show. So, he turned to social media for help.
"I am watching a TV show and notice this woman has a left thyroid mass," he wrote on his Facebook page. "She needs a sonogram and fine needle biopsy. I wonder if she knows and hope it's benign."
According to a second post Voigt shared on Facebook Monday, he was able to finally reach McGuinness through "numerous connections."
"Several people saw the post... and eventually through numerous connections someone contacted the woman!" he wrote. "She was unaware that she had a mass. Her doctors had never noticed it."
As a result of their conversation, McGuinness went to the hospital for a diagnosis, which revealed the devastating news that she had thyroid cancer. Although the results were not the ones she wanted, McGuinness told ABC News she is relieved that she found out sooner rather than later.
"It's just a miracle in my opinion that he happened to see this on TV," she said. "I can't express how grateful I am."
On Tuesday, McGuinness and Voigt were introduced in person for the first time ever on Good Morning America.
"Dr. Voigt, I'm going to try to say this without getting emotional," McGuinness said in the clip above. "I have gone through a lot these past couple of years, and never expected to have to be a two-time cancer survivor. But without you keeping a vigilant eye, and watching that television show, who knows how long I would have gone on without that being checked. So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you so much."
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