Katie Prager would just like to go home to Flemingsburg and live with her husband.
She is 24 and, in theory, her life is ahead of her.
But instead, she is stuck in a room at University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital, and her lungs hurt. A lot.
Her doctor, pulmonologist Michael Anstead, told CNN that Katie is unlikely to live more than a year without a double lung transplant. Anstead was on vacation Friday and could not be reached for comment.
Katie, who grew up in Fleming County, takes oxycodone and, until Friday, Dilaudid for the pain.
She hasn't seen her husband since November, when he had a double lung transplant. She has no idea when she might see him again.
Katie's husband, Dalton Prager, said his wife is in a terrible situation: "Her life is being tossed around, tied up in red tape and bureaucracy, and it's sickening."
Said Katie: "You feel helpless. There's nothing you can do. You're trying to get care from someplace that isn't accepting (your health insurance) and someone that doesn't want to pay."
The sound of water bubbling to moisturize her oxygen intake permeates Katie's room. Visitors have brought her a Starbucks chocolate chip frappucino and a bottle of A1 steak sauce to give the bland hospital food a little bit of kick.
Prager is blond and petite. In pictures from a few years ago, she is a pretty-as-a-picture fiancée and bride.
After a lifetime with cystic fibrosis, Katie found love in 2009 in her now-husband, Dalton, whom she met on Facebook. Dalton also has cystic fibrosis.
The two were married in July 2011 with friends and family looking on.
After meeting Dalton, who has Burkholderia cepacia, a bacterial infection that impairs lung function, Katie contracted it, too. She knew it was possible, but she was in love.
In 2013, Katie received an associate of arts degree from Maysville Community College.
Beginning in late 2014, the paths of Katie and Dalton diverged.
Dalton, who at 23 is on his parents' health insurance, was able to get a double lung transplant in November at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, one of two hospitals in the nation with the expertise to perform such transplants; the other is Duke.
Katie's insurance is a tag-team of Medicare — available to her at a young age because of her disability — and Medicaid. But she's a Kentuckian, and the Pittsburgh hospital is considered out of network; her in-network hospital, UK, does not perform lung transplants on people with cepacia.
Kentucky state government and the Pittsburgh hospital have put the blame on each other for Katie's extraordinarily difficult situation.
"We are all working collaboratively in the best interest of the patient," Gwenda Bond, spokeswoman for the State Cabinet of Health and Family Services, wrote in an email Sunday. "Together, we are working through all the administrative hurdles to complete the necessary paperwork for UPMC to become a Kentucky Medicaid provider."
However, whether the Pittsburgh hospital wants to be a Kentucky Medicaid provider, or simply a provider for Katie Prager, is unclear.
Pittsburgh counters that while it wants to help Katie, it does not want to become an in-network hospital for Kentucky Medicaid patients.
Meanwhile, Prager is stuck in the crossfire in her hospital room. Her respite is putting on a medical mask and walking the halls.
She has not experienced the blissful spring that has arrived in Kentucky after a harsh winter.
Her days are spent in her room clinging to a tattered tan blanket from home and watching the hospital TV. A keyboard in her room allows her some music therapy. She taps out chords to a Taylor Swift song and plays all of Scott Joplin's The Entertainer.
Dalton will be able to leave Pittsburgh on Monday and will go to his parents' home in St. Louis.
He feels guilty because he is doing so well, while his wife sits in her hospital room simply trying to breathe and fending off pain.
"I have to make myself not just get in the car and drive to Lexington," he said in a telephone interview from Pittsburgh.
The two cannot be together because both are in precarious health — Dalton with his recent transplant, Katie with her need for a transplant.
"I survived by the skin of my teeth," Dalton said.
He said he was told at the end of November that he would not live until Christmas.
"I know exactly where she's at," Dalton said of his wife's situation. "It hurts me all the more."
He knows that spreading word about the case through the media is a hail-Mary pass. The couple also has a fundraising site at Youcaring.com.
"The worst thing that you can hear from the doctor is, 'If I were you I would go to the media,'" Dalton Prager said. "It just sounds like a death sentence. It tells you the hospital doesn't know what it can do."