Katie Prager, whose love story with husband Dalton has been compared to the book “The Fault in Our Stars,” has died just five days after him. She was 26.
Like the characters in John Green’s book, Hazel and Augustus, Katie and Dalton met young and faced devastating health battles. The Pragers both passed away after long battles with cystic fibrosis.
Katie’s mother Debbie Donovan shared on Facebook that Katie died peacefully at home in Kentucky. She was “surrounded by her mom, dad, brother and dogs… away from the hospital, tubes, IVs.”
Debbie added, "Dalton was waiting with open arms, as well as both her grandmother's and a host of family and friends that have gone before her. I know it is selfish to be sad, I had her so many days, but she is in the arms of Jesus today and she can breathe without oxygen, she no longer has to do dialysis and He has taken away all the pain she endured."
Dalton checked into Barnes-Jewish Hospital about two weeks ago and had been in intensive care and on a ventilator. The plan was to fly him to be with Katie in Kentucky where she was in hospice care if his health improved, but instead it worsened.
They met online in high school and fell in love via Facebook. Katie was reportedly warned not to meet with Dalton in person because he suffered from a rare and contagious infection that is especially risky for cystic fibrosis patients.
Katie took the risk, and they later wed in 2011 at age 20.
She later contracted the infection, and they both received lung transplants. His was in 2014 and hers was in 2015. Initially, Dalton’s transplant was a success, but he was later diagnosed with lymphoma. He beat the cancer, but his health took a turn for the worse in recent weeks.
Katie’s transplant came with many complications and she developed lung cancer, among other major problems. She started hospice care on September 2.
The day before Dalton passed away, Katie told CNN she had no regrets. "It gave me some of the best years of my life," she said of meeting Dalton. "I'd rather have five years of being in love and just really completely happy than 20 years of not having anybody."