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274F5A8400000578-3026842-image-a-1_1428274010128Katie Prager, the wife in the real “Fault in Our Stars” couple, passed away after complications from cystic fibrosis and a lung transplant. She was only 26 years old. Her husband, Dalton Prager, had died just days earlier after suffering from the same disease.

The young couple gathered worldwide attention last year after CNN wrote about Katie’s fight to get a lung transplant. They quickly became known as the real “Fault in Our Stars” couple after bearing a resemblance to the 2012 book and 2014 movie. The story is based on teenage cancer patients that fall in love.
Katie and Dalton first spoke early in 2009 when they were both 18 on Facebook. Messages flew back and forth between the two, offering support to each other for their medical issues, and they quickly realized they were falling in love. Despite orders from her doctor, Katie met Dalton in person in late 2009. Dalton had an infection called Burkholderia cepacia, which can be deadly for people with cystic fibrosis.
Their first date was an an amusement park in Ohio, where Dalton gave Katie a necklace for her 19th birthday which was two days prior. Katie caught Dalton’s infection immediately. Despite the medical issues, they were relatively health for the next couple of years.
The couple wed in 2011 and bought a house in Flemingsburg. It was filled with regular parties and game nights. Those years “were great,” Katie told CNN days before she died. “We did stuff; we had fun. It was like something out of a fairy tale.”
In 2014, the infection got the best of both Katie and Dalton’s lungs. They entered treatment at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center together. They both waited for new lungs and Dalton’s came first in November. Katie’s took longer, but received her new lung in July 2015.
Medical struggles continued for the couple. Dalton seemed to do well at first with his transplant, but later developed lymphoma. He overcame the cancer but was then recently hospitalized in Missouri with pnemonia and a viral infestion that would ultimately take his life. He passed away while speaking to Katie over FaceTime, as she was in another hospital.
Katie’s transplant never worked well despite several efforts from doctors. Katie was finally told that there was nothing more they could do, and that she entered hospice care in Kentucky.
The day before Dalton died, Katie told CNN she had no regrets about their decision to meet in person. For all the time spent sick or in the hospital, it’s the time they spent together that stood out 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 the couple was able to be together was on July 16th, their fifth wedding anniversary. While their love story was short, Katie knew it brought joy and inspiration to others. She even mentioned wanting to write a book on the lovers journey. She had even planned for how the fairy tale would end.
“And they lived happily ever after,” Katie said, “in each other’s arms for eternity.”
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