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