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Former teacher took dream cruise to Alaska, now she's terminally ill

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Posted at 4:51 PM, Jul 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-25 16:03:28-04

Nancy Greathouse, a former Maryland teacher, went to Alaska on the cruise of a lifetime to celebrate her husband's retirement. Instead of seeing mountains and glaciers, she had a medical crisis, leaving her terminally ill and stuck in Anchorage. 

Nancy, 71, and her husband Paul went to Alaska for a two week cruise in April. On April 28, she suffered a respiratory crisis. She was taken on medevac from the cruise ship to a hospital in Juneau, Alaska. She was then taken to a hospital in Anchorage, Alaska. Nancy was in critical care for 20 days, fighting to stay alive.

Nancy has been at St. Elias Specialty Hospital in Midtown Anchorage for two months. She's been stuck mostly inside, unable to go outside even in a wheelchair. Nancy has been diagnosed with terminal cancer, along with an autoimmune disease flare-up.

She wants to live our her remaining days at home in Beltsville, Maryland. But the doctors say she's not well enough to fly on a commercial flight. The trip to home requires a medical evacuation flight that could cost upward of $50,000. The couple can't afford it and insurance won't cover it. 

A GoFundMe page has been set up to raise money to fly Nancy home. According to the page, Nancy has used all ofher Medicare and supplemental insurance money to cover her stay in Alaska. She needs to be transferred to Maryland before July 27, 2017 to avoid using up her Medicare lifetime benefit.