Five Feet Apart packs the most unexpected deaths for a story filmed entirely in a hospital corridor dedicated to terminally ill teens.
The two main characters suffering from mutually incompatible illnesses — meaning they need to stay five feet apart at all times — do not die.
So who dies in Five Feet Apart, who is already dead, and how? Find out answers to all these questions and more!
1. List of Characters Who Die in Five Feet Apart
- Stella’s sister Abby
- Stella’s best friend and fellow CF’er, Poe
2. How Does Poe Die?
In one of the most unexpected twists, Stella’s friend Poe, who was also suffering from Cystic Fibrosis, is the one to die.
For the most part, Five Feet Apart keeps us on edge about whether Will and Stella will survive coming in such close contact with each other. Their illnesses being, as we know, contagious and lethal for the other.
But even as everyone is alert about keeping Will and Stella apart at all times, they forget about Poe. The skinny little CF’er boy with a passion for cooking, skateboards, and non-white men becomes the face of death in the film.
As we see his bony face turn pale and then blue from breathlessness, I bet even the stoniest of stomachs had to have churned.
Funny how a film about dying children still manages to scare us when death finally does arrive. Kudos to the creative minds behind it for managing to keep the surprise of death alive even though everyone was expecting it.
Poe’s death comes unannounced, and his lungs stop working soon after Will’s incandescent birthday party.
He collapses in his room within seconds of pressing the emergency button — which also becomes a tragic joke since he would often press the button by mistake.
His death becomes a turning point in the film, with Stella and Will’s relationship reaching a breaking point, but Stella is also starting to appreciate life.
She regrets never having hugged her best friend Poe before he died. (Fellow CF’ers are also to stay at least six feet apart at all times.)
3. Is Stella’s Sister Abby Dead?
We are first introduced to Abby, Stella’s elder sister, through her beautiful artwork showing a pair of lungs made out of flowers and butterflies, suspended in outer space.
The lungs are meant for Stella, who needs new lungs to live longer. We soon learn that Abby was a pillar of support for Stella, accompanying her into operation theatres and helping her fall asleep.
However, Will is the one to notice something was wrong when Stella reacts awkwardly to Abby’s questions.
Will discovers that Abby suddenly went missing from all her social media handles a few months ago with help from his friends.
He deduces that her sister could be dead. But it is not until Stella, and Will become a couple that he learns for sure how and when Abby died.
About a year before the movie’s events, Abby was out cliff diving when something went terribly wrong. She did not land right and ended up with a broken back.
In her last moments, Abby couldn’t even see her baby sister since Stella was in the hospital at the time. Wracked by the guilt of not being there for Abby when she required support, Stella suffers from the survivor’s guilt, as observed by Will.
To make matters worse, Abby’s death also drives apart her parents, who are in the middle of a divorce during the film.
4. Did Will and Stella Infect Each Other?
This article would remain incomplete if we didn’t talk about what happened to Will and Stella. Talking about Will, we know for sure that the trial drugs he was put on were not effective by the end of the film.
This meant that he had to leave Saint Grace Hospital and go away from Stella, who had to undergo a lung transplant.
Meanwhile, Stella’s control issues and survivor’s guilt for outliving her older sister ensured that Will and Stella never came close enough to endanger each other.
But ever since Poe’s death, she becomes reckless and impulsive, daring to take a chance at love. Will and Stella’s walk on the night Poe dies ends with Stella falling down a frozen lake and Will giving her mouth-to-mouth to resuscitate her.
He manages to save her from dying of drowning, but for how long, we are not told. In the end, after all the precautions, Will and Stella end up sharing contagious breaths.
But while Stella miraculously tests negative for Will’s infection, nurse Barb points out that due to the exposure, she could still be infected in the future.
So we see that both Will and Stella are not devoid of risks in the future. But as far as the movie is considered, they are not yet dead.
The movie leaves us with several open-ended plots. Do Stella and Will stay together, or do they break up? Do Stella’s parents rethink the divorce or go through with it? How long does Will have to live after the failed drug trials?
How long does Stella survive with her new lungs and a potentially contagious exposure to Will’s infection? All of them remained unanswered.
5. About Five Feet Apart
This 2019 terminal romance follows seventeen-year-old Stella, a cystic fibrosis patient whose life is full of routines, boundaries, and self-control.
But all of that is put to the test when she meets Will, an impossibly charming teen who is also faced with a terminal illness, B Cepacia.
There’s an instant connection, despite all the restrictions dictating them to maintain a safe distance for fear of infecting each other.
As their connection intensifies, so does the temptation to throw the rules out the window and embrace the consequences.