Dalton Prager, half of the young couple nicknamed “The real life Fault in our Stars” died on September 17, 2016, after fighting cystic fibrosis for over two years. It is expected that his wife, Katie Prager, will also die soon from the same disease.
The couple met online when they were both eighteen and quickly fell in love. However, their doctors advised them against ever meeting in person, because patients that suffer from cystic fibrosis can deteriorate their health by swapping dangerous bacteria.
Cystic fibrosis is a rare terminal genetic disorder that slowly but steady damages the patient’s lungs. Nonetheless, the two loved each other so deeply they did not listen to the warning and went out on a date.
Katie Prager has reminisced that she saw Dalton for the first time while he was leaning against a brick wall at a Dairy Queen, she ran towards him and kissed him. He had made the effort of traveling six hours from Montana to Kentucky.
The pair kept dating for a couple of years and then married. As the doctors indeed had warned, Mr. Prager infected Mrs. Prager with Burkholderia cepacia, a highly contagious and dangerous infection.
They loved animals and such used to rescue dogs together, got matching oxygen tanks and shared their ups and downs through IV drips and surgeries. They also share the long waiting period on the lung transplant list.
Mr. Prager got lucky first, and in November 2014 got his lung transplant. Husband and wife had to be separated from eight months, while Mrs. Prager fought a hard insurance battle and finally got her new lungs too.
After knowing their story, CNN, The Washington Post, and other local, national, and international media started calling the pair the “Real ‘Fault in Our Stars’ couple,” after John Green’s best-selling novel turned into a movie.
Nonetheless, the fairy tale did not last forever. Mr. Prager developed lymphoma, which also did Mrs. Prager, and her transplant failed. He got pneumonia and had to be transferred to the Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis and placed on a ventilator.
Finally, Mrs. Prager entered end-stage renal failure and decided to remain the rest of her days under the care of her family in Kentucky. She only had one wish, to see Mr. Prager again. Mass media did its magic, and thousands of dollars were donated with the aim of transferring Mr. Prager to a hospital near his wife.
However, the transfer was set back numerous times for several reasons, and on September 17, the same day Mrs. Prager’s family decided to throw her an early Christmas celebration, Mr. Prager passed away at the young age of twenty-five.
The couple had been FaceTime-ing at the moment, and Mrs. Prager watched her husband die while he told her the loved her. Mrs. Prager is expected to die before Christmas day.
“[He] gave me some of the best years of my life. I’d rather have five years of being in love and just really completely happy than 20 years of not having anybody,” stated Mrs. Prager to CNN.
Source: The Washington Post