The love story of Dalton and Katie Prager is bitter sweet. They met each other on Facebook in 2009, and realized they were truly soulmates. A couple of years later after meeting in person for the first time, they wasted no time at all before getting married, both at the age of 20.
Life was beautiful, but they were both really ill. Both Katie and Dalton suffered from cystic fibrosis, an incurable genetic disorder that effects many parts of the body, particularly the lungs. But their shared experience with the disease brought them even closer. There was just one thing that was bothering them — they couldn't move in together because it was too difficult for their families to care for them. That meant they had to keep living in separate states. Even though they video chatted constantly, it was really hard to be away from one another.
Both of them desperately needed a new lung and were on the waiting list for a transplant. Katie loved Dalton so much that she decided to remove her own name from the list so Dalton would be higher up. That way, he'd have a better chance at getting the new lung he needed so much.
Katie's selflessness came through: Dalton got a new lung in 2014 and Katie got one in 2015.
But shortly after his operation, Dalton developed a problem in his lymph nodes that led to a serious viral lung infection. He had the sense that he didn't have much time left and all he wished for was to see his wife one last time. But the virus he had was contagious and very dangerous for others with cystic fibrosis so their doctors warned them to stay away from one another. Dalton listened; there was no way he was going to put her in more danger.
Katie didn't care about the risks though. She would rather live a short and happy life than a long and miserable one. So, Katie invited Dalton to visit her in Kentucky.
Katie wasn't doing too great herself; her body was rejecting her lung transplant. The doctors didn't know what next steps they could take and told her family to prepare for the worst. They were uncertain whether she would make it to December. Since both Dalton and Katie wished to celebrate one last Christmas together, their families decided to move the holiday up a few months: This year, Christmas would happen in September. They started the preparations and Dalton got ready to hit the road.
His bags were packed and ready to go, but Dalton never had the chance to make the trip. Unfortunately, the boy died on the afternoon of September 17th after complications relating to his illness.
Katie didn't have the chance to hold him in her arms one last time, but she spent his last hours with him over video chat. She could see him and hear him before he passed away and she got the chance to tell him how much she loved him.
As Katie celebrated Christmas in September with her family and friends, she said, "I'll be seeing him soon."
And she was right: Just five days after Dalton's death, Katie followed him out of this world.
This heart-breaking story of two terminally-ill young people in love is reminiscent of the 2012 best-selling novel "The Fault in Our Stars" by John Green. In 2014, it was made into a beautiful movie.
Just like Hazel and Augustus from the book, Katie and Dalton found each other, loved each other, and lost each other. But hopefully they are back together again, somewhere, somehow, and this time forever...
It's hard to know whether you should be sad or happy for them since they found one of the purest things in life at such a young age: true love. Some people spend many years of their long lives searching just for that and never find it.