Stuck In Alaska After Terminal Diagnosis During Vacation, Md. Woman Wants To Come Home

BELTSVILLE, Md. (WJZ/AP) — A former Maryland teacher who went on an Alaskan cruise in April has been stuck in Anchorage ever since, because she was diagnosed while there with a terminal illness that made her too weak to fly home.

But now, thanks to the generous donations made by people who heard her story, 71-year-old Nancy Greathouse will head home as early as Wednesday.

Nancy and her husband Paul went to Alaska on a two-week cruise in the spring. On April 28, she suffered a respiratory crisis and was taken via medevac from the cruise ship to a hospital in Juneau. Then she spent two months at a hospital in Anchorage.

She was diagnosed with terminal cancer, along with an autoimmune disease flare-up.

She wants to live out her remaining days at home in Beltsville, Md., but doctors told her she wasn’t well enough to fly a commercial flight.

But a GoFundMe page raised enough money for her to take a medical evacuation flight, which could cost $50,000.

“This was their lifetime cruise. They were celebrating engagements, they were celebrating retirement and life. And she got very sick in Alaska and had to be medevacked to Anchorage,” said Fresia Kelley, Nancy’s daughter-in-law.

“So this seemed like an impossibility. They were beginning to look into finding an apartment or finding a skilled care facility that she could live out the rest of her days in Anchorage,” said pastor of visitation Bob Prescott.

Sunday, Nancy’s pastor challenged the church to pray for a miracle and everything started to fall into place.

An Alaskan newspaper caught wind of Nancy’s story and donations started pouring in.

“Two weeks ago we thought: where are we gonna get this money from?” Kelley said.

In three days, with a whole lot of prayer and the generosity of hundreds, Nancy had enough for the $64,000 air ambulance flight back to Maryland.

“Honestly, I could cry. Because it’s so exciting seeing god move,” said Pastor Estelle Cyrus.

The online fundraiser for Nancy is at more than $60,000 and growing. Her medical flight is set to land at BWI around 11 p.m. Wednesday.

Grace Point Church of the Nazarene in Severn held a prayer service in Nancy’s honor Wednesday at 7 p.m.

Follow @CBSBaltimore on Twitter and like WJZ-TV | CBS Baltimore on Facebook

(TM and Copyright 2017 CBS and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

More from Devin Bartolotta
Comments

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More From CBS Baltimore

Track Weather On The Go With Our App!
CBS All Access
Download Our App

Watch & Listen LIVE