“My breathing is pretty crappy and I see you are in the hospital,” Katie wrote to Dalton. “I’m sorry. I know it sucks!… But you just gotta stay strong.” The teenagers began to message each other regularly. Before too long, their feelings for each other became very real.
Of course the teenagers wanted to meet, but Katie’s doctor advised against it. Those with cystic fibrosis are prone to infection, which can easily be spread between each other. To add to the risks, Dalton already had Burkholderia cepacia, which could be fatal to both of them.
Dalton put his own feelings aside and left the decision to Katie. She wrote, “I’d rather be happy – like really, really happy – for five years of my life and die sooner than be mediocre happy and live for 20 years.” The only thing she wanted for her 19th birthday was to meet Dalton.