A bride to be has walked down the aisle with the man who received her dead father’s donated heart. Ten years ago Jeni Stepien’s father was tragically murdered in Swissvale, Pennsylvania. The family took the decision to put his organs up for donation, and the man’s heart was successfully transplanted to Arthur Thomas. Arthur was on death’s door, so the donation literally saved his life.
Not long after the donation, Jeni got in touch with Arthur. They began exchanging letters, but never met. Then Jeni invited Arthur to her wedding, and had a special request. “Jeni wrote me a letter and she said ‘Dear Tom, I’m the daughter of the man who’s heart is inside of you and I’m gonna get married on August 6th. And one further thing if you’re willing, would you walk me down the aisle?’ ” Arthur, of course, agreed. So he and his wife traveled from New Jersey to meet their new family.
“We’ve been talking to him and writing letters and calling and receiving flowers and sending gifts for the past 10 years and now it’s finally here. I’m so excited. The whole family is here now. It’s like everybody is here,” Jeni said. “It’s just like having my dad here and better because we get to share this story with people and other people see that organ donors do matter”