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Man’s last wish to see dying wife ends with his death from cystic fibrosis

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ST. LOUIS » A Missouri man’s wish to see his wife one last time before she dies from cystic fibrosis has ended with his own death from the same disease.

Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis said Dalton Prager died Saturday. He was 25.

Dalton and his 26-year-old wife, Katie, were married in 2011 despite their struggles with the life-threatening genetic disease that clogs the lungs with mucus and forces patients to struggle to breathe. The median survival age is about 40.

Dalton moved back to suburban St. Louis after a lung transplant in 2014 so his parents could care for him. Katie received a lung transplant last year and has since developed lymphoma and had kidney failure. She’s in hospice care in Flemingsburg, Kentucky.

They were last together for their fifth anniversary in July. Dalton had hoped to get will enough to visit Katie again.

“Decisions have been made that aren’t meant to be made by someone in their 20s with their whole life ahead of them,” Katie wrote recently on a fundraising page for her medical and funeral expenses. “There are too many things going on in my body to be able to fix everything. … I get to spend the rest of my time surrounded by people and things that make me happy.”

But the top of her wish list, a visit from her husband, never happened.

Dalton badly wanted to get out of the hospital to visit Katie, Dalton’s mother told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch last week.

“He has tried so many times and he has tried so hard. Unfortunately his body is not agreeing with what he wants to do,” Renee Prager said.

Katie’s family went ahead with an early Christmas celebration for her on Saturday in Kentucky. The Lexington Herald-Leader reported that talking about Dalton’s death was too hard for her. “I’ll see him soon,” she said.

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