Dalton and Katie Prager's Transplant Page / www.facebook.com www.facebook.com
Candace Ganger
September 21, 2016 3:15 pm

Even in death, love doesn’t just disappear. This is especially true for Katie Prager, who just lost her husband, Dalton, this past Saturday from the bacterial infection Burkholderia cepacia. They’ve been known as “The Fault in our Stars couple” for giving us all the feels and letting us all bear witness to their journeys living with cystic fibrosis. The genetic disease affects breathing over time, thus shortening life-spans. Even with transplants, there’s no guarantee of really any comfort or quality of life at all but the two weren’t deterred.

Katie took to Facebook to share her heartfelt feelings after Dalton passed.

"My angel, my best friend, the love of my life, my husband went to be with the Lord our God today. Dalton fought a long hard battle with cystic fibrosis. He was a courageous fighter and 'give up' wasn't in his vocabulary. Thank you for all of your love, prayers and kind words that you have shown to us over the past few years. God bless each of you. – Katie."

Posted by Dalton and Katie Prager's Transplant Page on Wednesday, September 7, 2016

They’ve endured many ups and downs in their short relationship and have been very public about the struggles. On September 11th, Katie took to Facebook again to give an update.

"They will be starting breathing trials in the morning.  He is on a very small dose of blood pressure medicine and she said he should be off of that very soon. He is still stable. God is great!"

While hopeful at the time, on September 12th, she continued as she lay in hospice care, a wish she’d made in order to live out the rest of her days on her own terms if she couldn’t be with Dalton.

"He did a breathing trial earlier this morning and did wonderful! They will be doing that again this afternoon. They are expecting to be able to transfer him most likely tomorrow which is amazing!"

Sadly, Dalton never made it to that transfer and their wish to reunite before his passing would not come true. The very next day, Dalton’s mom, Renee, posted to their Facebook page.

"Unfortunately today does not look like,it's going to be the day for Dalton to fly. His platelets have dropped making it unsafe for him to travel. Because of the Lymphoma he has struggled with this issue off and on. God has decided it is not the right time and we are ok with that. His safety is first priority. -Renee."

This is something Dalton and Katie prepared for from the day they met. After messaging online for a time before, it was clear they needed each other. They knew and accepted the risks of being together and decided to rely on love for whatever short time each of them had left, as opposed to living longer without the risk. A brave choice, indeed.

Posted by Dalton and Katie Prager's Transplant Page on Friday, September 2, 2016

"I knew that there was a possibility that we would get sicker and something could happen," Katie said. "I just told Dalton I'd rather have somebody that I was totally in love with for five years, than be either lonely or not as happy with somebody for 20 years."

Much like the film (and based on the best-selling book by John Green), they were the real life Fault in our Stars couple one nearly every level, talking in depth about their disease with one another, finding companionship and a kismet understanding, and finally, everlasting love.

"We told each other we loved each other the first day we met in person. We just knew," she says. "He understood everything about me. He knew what I was going through, and he was just my other half. And I knew it."

Just five months after that initial message, they’d moved to St. Louis together and another month after that, Dalton proposed.

"He was like a new person," his mom, Renee, said. "Before, he just saw 'my life is going to end,' and he just knew that. But all of a sudden he wanted to do things, he wanted to go places. He could see things that he never saw before. He saw a future. He saw happiness."

On July 16th, 2011, the two lovebirds married with beloved rescue cockapoo, Marley, surrounded by friends and family who wanted nothing more than for them to live happily, as long as they could.

Front page St Louis Post Dispatch. Everyone can help with Daltons continued medical expenses and oncoming bills at www.gofundme.com/pragers . Thank you for all the prayers.~~Renee

Posted by Dalton and Katie Prager's Transplant Page on Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Katie’s Dad, John Donovan said

"She looked like an angel. I wanted to see them grow old together. I knew it wasn't going to happen, but that's what I wanted to see."

But the contagious infection that would claim Dalton’s life would soon take its toll on Katie and by 2013, the two would be ill enough to receive lung transplants. However, while Dalton received his in August 2014, Katie wouldn’t get hers until July 2015. It was only later did Katie’s mother, Debra Donovan, would discover Katie would do whatever necessary to make sure Dalton got his new lungs first by taking her name off the transplant list. If that’s not a selfless sacrifice, what is?

Even after the surgery, Dalton would never fully recover as he developed lymphoma, along with pneumonia, and Katie would need continual care from her own family to get by. This made it hard to be there for one another physically, though they didn’t stop trying, thanks to technology.

With Dalton now gone, and a devastated Katie in hospice care, it’s clear she doesn’t regret a single second she shared with her husband and nor should she. These two are the epitome of true love.

"I believe that God does everything for a reason," she said. "He is the master. He has a plan for all of us, and if this is my plan, then I'm ready and I'm not afraid, and I'm going to just keep going until I can't go any more."

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