By VICTORIA JAVIER
Katie Prager is the real wife of the movie The Fault in Our Stars. She was diagnosed with a terminal form of thyroid cancer that has since spread to her lungs. She also has cystic fibrosis, and during this time she also had a lung transplant to try to get rid of her thyroid cancer. She died on September 23, 2016, and so did her husband Dalton Prager, a day before. Katie Prager wished that she could be at home, in her bed, surrounded by her mom, dad, brother, and her dogs dying peacefully, away from the hospital, tubes, and IVs.
Katie and Dalton met on Facebook in 2009 when they were both 18. Katie had no clue about Dalton until one day she noticed that his mother had posted a picture of him in the hospital. Katie decided to write to Dalton “If you ever need a friend to talk to, you can reach out to me”. He replied “Sorry, but do I know you?” She knows that he doesn’t know her so the told him a little about herself. “My breathing is pretty crappy and I see you are in the hospital. I’m sorry. I know it sucks!…But you just gotta stay strong,” she wrote to him. From then on they talked back and forth, Dalton and Katie finally realized that they were falling in love, but Katie’s doctor told her not to meet him in person, because Dalton had something called Burkholderia cepacia, and it can be extremely deadly for people like her with cystic fibrosis.
Katie decided not to listen to her doctor and asked Dalton to come and visit her in Kentucky, even though she knew she had a huge chance of catching that bacteria So Dalton and his mother drove more than 6 hours just to meet Katie. They arranged to meet at a Dairy Queen. At 7:10 Katie arrived at the Dairy Queen and saw Dalton leaning against a brick wall, looking cool and handsome in his sunglasses.
Katie had the urge to go right up to him and she hugged and kissed him on the mouth without even saying hello. Then she said “I’m usually not that kind of girl, but it just felt so right.” On Katie and Dalton’s first date they decided to ride roller coasters at the Kings Island amusement park. For Katies 19th birthday Dalton gave her a necklace, but he decided to give it to her two days before.
It turned out that Katie caught Daltons Burkholderia Cepacia infection immediately. The couple was together less than 2 years despite their infections. They were relatively healthy for maybe the next few years. They decided to buy a house in Flemingsburg,KY and filled it with many items such as wedding pictures, board games, etc.
In 2014 the couple’s lungs got the best of them, Katie and Dalton were both entered into the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. On November 17, Dalton had his lung transplant. Then later on in July 2015, Katie finally had her lung transplant.
Dalton was doing well at first after his lung transplant but then he developed lymphoma, and he was sent to Missouri with pneumonia and a viral infection. Nothing really worked for Katie she was always in and out of the hospital, and earlier this month the doctors told her there is nothing else they could do for her anymore. So she went to the hospital in Kentucky so she was close to home.
Everyone was hoping that they could fly Dalton to the hospital in Kentucky so that him and Katie could be together for the little time they have left. Sadly Dalton could never get healthy enough to make the trip. He died in a St.Louis hospital, while Katie spoke to him through facetime.
The day before Dalton died Katie told CNN that she had no regrets of meeting Dalton, that it was all worth it. All the time they spent together stood out more than anything to her.
“It gave me some of the best years of my life,” she said. “I’d rather have five years of being in love and just really completely happy than 20 years of not having anybody.” The last time Katie and Dalton saw each other was on July 16th, on their fifth wedding anniversary. Their love was short, but there was more love and commitment than any of the relationships we see today. The next day Katie died and she already knew how their fairy tale would end. “And they lived happily ever after,” Katie said, “in each other’s arms for eternity.”