YouTube star, 30, dies from cancer after failing to get treatment when Covid hit

A YOUTUBER has died from cancer after failing to get treatment when the coronavirus pandemic hit the UK.

David MacMillan built up a huge YouTube following for editing montages of his favourite Marvel and DC clips.


David MacMillan was passionate about his YouTube channel Pirate Dog [/caption]

The healthy 30-year-old also worked at a school kitchen in Morpeth in the North East and had no idea that the slight pain he felt in his shoulder was the first sign of a rare cancer.

David, who had over 250,000 subscribers for his channel Pirate Dog, began to feel an ache in his upper arm back in January.

Not wanting to make a fuss, he put it down to an injury he had previously obtained in a fun arm wrestle with his dad at New Year.

Weeks later the pain was still persistent and David contacted his GP surgery.

He was assessed by a nurse and eventually referred to a physiotherapist.

David never got an appointment and in March the country was plunged into a nationwide lockdown, with NHS resources being pushed to the brim.

His health continued to deteriorate and his GP sent him to hospital.

It was there that he was diagnosed with germ cell cancer, which develop in the testicles in men and ovaries in women.


David loved dogs and they were his second biggest passion alongside his YouTube channel[/caption]


David received chemotherapy to shrink the tumour [/caption]

David refused to give up and underwent chemotherapy to shrink the tumour that was pressing against his heart.

Earlier this month medics told his mum Diane Whinn that there was nothing more they could do.

On October 8, David died in her arms and Diane, 54, says she is now tortured by the thought that David may still be alive if he had been able to get an appointment during the pandemic.

She has now urged people to visit their GP if they think they have strange symptoms – pandemic or not.

Diane said: “It’s quite possible he’s had it all his life, but because he was so fit and healthy it was a silent killer. I just think if someone had physically examined him we might have found out something sooner.”

David was born in Scotland but had lived in the North East with his mum and stepdad Mark Whinn for the last 20 years.

He said he was going to fight all the way. He said he was going to get better, and he was going to go back to work

Diane Whinn

What is germ cell cancer?

Germ cell tumours can appear at any age.

They develop from cells that produce eggs or sperm so germ cell tumours can affect the ovaries or testes.

However, it is also possible for a germ cell tumour to develop in other parts of the body.

As a baby develops during pregnancy, the cells producing eggs or sperm normally move to the ovaries or testes.

However, rarely they can settle in other parts of the body where they can develop into tumours.

The most common places for this to happen are the bottom of the spine (sacrococcygeal), the brain, chest and abdomen.

Each year, fewer than 45 children in the UK develop malignant germ cell tumours.

The cause of germ cell tumours is not well understood but research into the causes of different cancers is ongoing.

Source: Macmillan

He worked at Morpeth First School and was popular with pupils and aside from work he would spend time with the family’s two pet bulldogs.

This other passion was his YouTube channel Pirate Dog.

Diane said that David had “always been a typical lad” and had enjoyed skate-boarding and playing computer games.

She added: “He made montage videos of DC and Marvel stuff for YouTube. He would sit for hours editing videos.

“Whatever he did he put 110 per cent in. He had such a sense of humour. At work he used to hide things, and put eyes on the school bell so it looked like it was looking at you.”

She added that he knew all the kids at the school by name and said he would know which ones would like what trays – and knew which ones liked their beans away from their pizza.


David lived with Mum Diane and step dad Mark in Morpeth [/caption]

David also had a cough, which he put down to vaping.

When he was unable to get an appointment in February David was advised to take ibuprofen – he was also referred for physiotherapy.

Diane said David never got the appointment at the end of March and said by April, her son was still waiting.

Soon David lost weight and became out of breath after walking. Diane said her son was always trying to lose weight – but on this occasion had dropped around two stone.

She said: “Then at Easter he had gone to the shop and when he came back he was out of breath.


David said he would fight the illness all the way [/caption]

“Then suddenly everything fell into place for me. My first thought was it could be pneumonia. Covid wasn’t even in the mix for me because this had been going on for so long.”

Diane urged her son to get help and the next day he was sent to the Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital in Cramlington.

A tumour was discovered on his chest in hours and as he began treatment, doctors told David that he had an 89 per cent success rate.

Diane said: “Throughout this whole thing he was so positive.

“He said he was going to fight all the way. He said he was going to get better, and he was going to go back to work.”

Always keen to keep up with his passions, David told his YouTube subscribers why he hadn’t been posting videos.

In one post he wrote that his health had taken a turn for the worse.


The family are now urging young men to not delay in getting symptoms checked [/caption]

“I’ve had a lot of muscular pain in my chest and back which I recently found out to be a tumour in my chest. I am currently in hospital under going chemotherapy surrounded by amazing health workers who I cannot thank enough and hopefully I will beat this in the coming months.

“Thank you to all my subscribers for making this channel bigger than I ever dreamed. I hope to be back.”

The comments flooded in for David and Diane said he also sought solace in the family’s dogs, Wreck It Ralph and Mini.

“It was as if the dogs were the only things that didn’t know he was unwell.

“They cuddled him just because he was David.”

At the end of September medics told David and his family the treatment was not working.

David was put on a ventilator to help him breath and he made the decision to be intubated.

Diane said that her son was still fighting and said he believed that if he rested the chemo would work better.

“There was still hope, he wasn’t going to go down without a fight”, she said.

One week later the consultants told Diane there was nothing else they could do and advised the family to say their goodbyes.

Diane and her family have now set up a funding page in David’s memory to raise money for The Edward Foundation, an organisation that rescues and re-homes bulldogs and Morpeth First School is doing a harvest foodbank collection in his name.

Diane urged young men: “If you have got any concerns doctors would rather see you and say you are fine than miss something.

“Young men often think they are invincible”, she added.


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