“Tis better to have loved and lost than to have never loved.” — Alfred Lord Tennyson
Dalton and Katie Prager were living proof of that eternal wisdom. The young couple, who both suffered from cystic fibrosis, lived short but beautiful lives lit by their powerful love.
Dalton and Katie met on Facebook when both were 18. They quickly made a strong connection, but Katie’s doctors warned her not to meet Dalton in person because he had an infectious condition that could be deadly to her. Katie respectfully ignored that advice, saying she’d rather be “really, really happy for five years” than live 20 mediocre years.
Two years later the couple was married. Over the next five years, they continued to battle health issues. Dalton had a successful lung transplant but then got cancer. He beat that disease only to contract pneumonia. Katie did indeed catch Dalton’s infection, and it took a toll on her. After an unsuccessful lung transplant, Katie moved to hospice care, separating her from Dalton.
Dalton died earlier this month. Katie was as close as possible via Facetime. Five days later she passed away.
Katie and Dalton have been called “the real life Fault in Our Stars couple” in reference to the best-selling novel about teenage cancer patients who fall in love.
This may seem like a sad story. But it’s really a beautiful tale that reminds us that it’s not the years in your life that matter, but the life in your years. If you are lucky enough to love and be loved by someone, go hug him or her right now.
cover photo: GoFundMe