Their story is like something from a movie. “It gave me a some of the greatest years of my life. I’d rather have five years of being infatuated and just truly totally upbeat than 20 years of not having anyone.”
The story of Katie and Dalton Prager is like something from a movie. It is truly both beautiful and heart-breaking.
The two met online at 18 years of age. Both had been diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. Dalton had a infectious disease, so they were advised not to meet in person.
Dalton made the six-hour road trip from St. Charles, Missouri, to Katie’s hometown of Flemingsburg, Kentucky. Beyond meeting face-to-face, they both knew that kissing each other could hold an even more deadly consequence, as Katie was very susceptible to contracting Dalton’s Burkholderia cepacia.
Nevertheless, the first time they met, Katie kissed Dalton as she swooned against the brick wall of the local Dairy Queen—and she doesn’t hold a single regret. Within just days of meeting each other, they knew this was meant to be forever, even if their “little infinity” was but a fleeting moment in time.
Two years later, they were married.
The couple loved one another, and were happy together, though both of them need lung transplants. They started the Facebook page, Dalton and Katie Prager’s Transplant Page.
Their blog, Lungs for Love, shared the following:
“We are on the path to finding the perfect lungs for both of us. We don’t live to take another breath, we live for one another. Taking advantage of the good days and comforting one another on the bad.” Dalton and Katie were both born with Cystic Fibrosis. Dalton from Missouri and Katie from Kentucky came together in love to fight the battle of their lives. The ulimate battle starts now. They are both looking to get double lung transplants. This blog will chronicle their journey of loving, laughing, and soon, breathing…
Dalton received his lung transplant in 2014, and the couple had to be apart for eight months.
Eventually, Katie received her transplant, and they were hopeful that they would be able to start a new life together. Sadly, Dalton developed lymphoma, and soon after Katie developed lymphoma as well, along with a severe case of pneumonia.
With few options remaining, Katie entered hospice care in Kentucky, while Dalton went to St. Louis and was hooked to a ventilator.
Katie shared this message on their Facebook page:
The past week has been very emotional and decisions have been made that aren’t meant to be made by someone in their 20s with their whole life ahead of them… There are too many things going on in my body to be able to fix everything. Things appear to be going downhill faster than I thought they would. My hospice nurse is coming out today to get everything set up. I won’t have to go back to the hospital or get anymore IVs. I get to spend the rest of my time surrounded by people and things that make me happy. Please don’t take this as a sign of me giving up. It’s the last thing I want people to remember of me.”
The couple wanted to see one another one last time before things got worse, but that dream did not come true for them.
Dalton became too sick to travel to see Katie, and passed away on September 17th. He was 25 years old.
Their last conversation took place via FaceTime.
Katie told Dalton that she loved him, though the family does not know if he physically heard her, or not.
She wrote on her Facebook page:
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
Their story of love is beautiful, and heart-breaking.
Our prayers go out to Katie, Dalton, and their families.