Jeni Stepien of Swissvale, Pa. recently walked down the aisle at her wedding with the man who received her late father’s donated heart. This incredibly emotional experience allowed the young woman to feel her father’s heartbeat for the first time in 10 years.
Stepien’s father was robbed at gunpoint and murdered in 2006. His family made the tough decision to donate his organs through the Center for Organ Recovery and Education. At the same time, 72-year-old Arthur Tomas was suffering from congestive heart failure and needed a new heart.
“I was on death’s door,” Tomas told ABC News about his pre-transplant condition. The families kept in touch after Tomas received his new heart, even years later.
When Tomas received the initial request from Jeni to walk her down the aisle, he didn’t have to think twice about his answer. Ultimately, Jeni’s father saved his life. So, he wanted to do everything he could to show how grateful he was.
Furthermore, having Arthur present was a way that Jeni’s father could be a part of her big day. Tomas travelled from New Jersey to attend the wedding and the two met for the first time the day before the ceremony.
Watch the touching video of the special day below.
What an amazing story of spirituality, organ donation and love. Although nothing can replace a father walking his daughter to the alter, it’s amazing that part of Jeni’s dad still lives on.