Real ‘Fault in Our Stars’ Couple

Young Couple Battles Cystic Fibrosis

Katie and Dalton Prager-Courtesy of CNN

Katie and Dalton Prager-Courtesy of CNN

Emma Saltsman, Staff Writer

Katie Donovan and Dalton Prager met when they were both 18 years old and living with cystic fibrosis, a hereditary disorder affecting the exocrine glands. It causes the production of abnormally thick mucus, leading to the blockage of the pancreatic ducts, intestines, and bronchi.

The young couple reunited after being apart for almost five months due to Dalton recovering from a lung transplant and Katie being hospitalized at the University of Kentucky with a severe lung disease.

The reunion was bittersweet when Dalton was released and rushed to his wife’s hospital room on April 6, but could only see her from afar because Katie’s infection posed life-threatening. The couple made the best of the situation and opened Christmas presents from the year before.

Katie’s painful experience began when Medicaid denied her doctor’s request for a lung transplant. The lung transplant centers in Kentucky will not do transplants on patients with similar infections to Katie’s because it’s too risky.

Katie’s doctor asked for her to be transferred to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) to receive treatment. For several months, Medicaid and UPMC have been debating financial issues, but on April 6, Katie made a statement saying Kentucky Medicaid was working hard to get UPMC’s transplant team enrolled as a provider.

Katie doesn’t know when exactly she’ll be transferred to UPMC, but she hopes to have her transplant finished in time for her forth wedding anniversary.

The couple mirrors the Fault in Our Stars couple, Augustus and Hazel, both fighting for survival and for each other.