Husband in a real-life ‘Fault in Our Stars’ couple dies at 25 fighting cystic fibrosis

The husband in a real-life Fault in Our Stars couple has died in a St. Louis hospital unable to defeat cystic fibrosis, his family said. He was 25.

Dalton Prager died Saturday at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis after a lifelong battle with cystic fibrosis. He was able to video chat with his wife Katie Prager — who has the same disease — in the days leading to his death.

Local media described the Pragers as similar to the leading roles in The Fault in Our Stars, a young adult novel by John Green about a tragic young couple with cancer who fall in love. The book was later made into a movie starring Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort.


The Pragers were apart in Dalton Prager’s final days because Katie Prager was in hospice care in Flemingsburg, Ky., her mother, Debra Donavan, told local media reporters. They communicated over FaceTime.

“She told him that she loved him,” Donovan said. “We don’t know if he heard her.”

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“Dalton fought a long hard battle with cystic fibrosis,” Katie Prager posted on Facebook. “He was a courageous fighter and ‘give up’ wasn’t in his vocabulary.”

The couple saw each other in person for the last time on July 16, their fifth wedding anniversary.

“[Being married] gave me some of the best years of my life,” Katie Prager told media. “I’d rather have five years of being in love and just really completely happy than 20 years of not having anybody.”

Dalton and Katie met in 2009 and married two years later at age 20.

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