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Editor's PicksHealthGreat-Grandmother With Months To Live After Being Diagnosed With Terminal Cancer Flies In A Plane For The First And Last Time

Great-Grandmother With Months To Live After Being Diagnosed With Terminal Cancer Flies In A Plane For The First And Last Time

This is the moment a great gran who has never flown after she was told not to by doctor in her youth has taken to the skies for the first and last time – as her dying wish.

Elizabeth McNamee, 81, was told by a GP not to fly after suffering a perforated eardrum in her 20s.

And despite the hole in her eardrum healing, Elizabeth, known to friends and family as Betty, took him at his word – and never even set foot in an airport for 60 years.

But when doctors told her she had between two and six months to live, after being diagnosed with terminal lung cancer, Betty decided it was time to spread her wings.

Her son Andy helped her draw up a wish-list of things she would like to do before she died and Betty braved the skies for a private flight.

Rather than going to foreign climes, great-grandmother-of-18 Betty was able to take an aerial trip over Benslie, North Ayrshire – even seeing her own home from the sky.

Andy approached Prestwick Flying Club about his mother’s dying wish, and pilot Lewis Anderson took her for a spin in a Bulldog plane.

Brave Betty, who now also has tumours in her pancreas, neck and gullet, said: “I don’t think that was as bad as I thought.

“It was quite enjoyable. I should have done it years ago.”

Son Andy said: “She absolutely loved it. Obviously it was her first and her last one.

“She was over the moon, she just couldn’t believe it.

“When we discovered the terminal cancer, we sat down and thought ‘why don’t we do a wish list nanna’, and one of the things she wrote down was going in an aeroplane.

“She was kind of shocked with the diagnosis as you would expect.

“We sat with the doctors and said ‘she wants to know what the bottom line is’ and the doctor said she had months.

“We asked how many months we were looking at and he said a minimum of two and maximum of six, which was devastating.

“We’ve already passed the minimum that they gave us so everything after that’s a bonus.

“Years ago she had burst her eardrum and back then the doctors said that she could never fly.

“But obviously things have gone on since then with pressurised aircraft, so she could have actually flown but never pursued it as she didn’t know.

“I can’t thank everyone enough.

“She said it couldn’t have happened without me but it couldn’t have happened without everybody.”



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