Our hearts were touched by the story of a young bride who was walked down the aisle by the man who received her father’s donated heart, 10 years after her father’s death.
According to the article published by the New York Times, Jeni Stepien’s father was shot in 2006 and lay in his deathbed when his family decided to donate his organs through the Center for Organ Recovery and Education. Arthur Thomas, who had been diagnosed with ventricular tachycardia and was in congestive heart failure, received Michael Stepien’s heart. After the transplant, a correspondence between the two families began, but they hadn’t really thought of meeting.
Jeni Stepien and Paul Maenner were engaged in October, and Jeni wrote to Arthur “Tom” Thomas about the possibility of walking her down the aisle. After running the idea by his own daughter, Tom suggested Jeni grip his wrist when they walked where she could feel her father’s heart beating the strongest.
At the wedding, the bride and Tom were photographed dancing together and Jeni even placed a hand on Tom’s chest, right over where her own father’s heart beat.
*all information credited to Katie Rogers and the New York Times