While he spake these things unto them, behold, there came a certain ruler, and worshipped him, saying, My daughter is even now dead: but come and lay thy hand upon her, and she shall live.
-- Matthew 9:18 (KJV)
Matthew's account appears to telescope this event. Mark and Luke have him initially saying his daughter is very near to death. And then while bringing Jesus to her, news arrives that she had died.
More than a few apologists say the Greek here could mean "my daughter is now dying" or "my daughter is now as good as dead".
How valid is this claim, strictly from a language perspective? I'm not asking whether it is possible as much as I'm asking how probable it seems to people who know the Greek. For instance, are there any examples of the words translated as "even now dead", meaning "almost dead"?