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Ready to cry happy tears? One Pennsylvania woman who got married this past weekend had a very special man walking her down the aisle—the man who received her father’s donated heart.
Arthur Thomas came from New Jersey for the Pittsburgh wedding to walk Jeni Stepien down the aisle at St. Anselm church in Swissvale, a city east of Pittsburgh in Allegheny County, and though they only met the day before her wedding, Stepien told CBS News that the day wouldn’t have been possible without him.
Thomas received the heart after Stepien’s father was murdered in 2006. More than 120,000 people in America are currently on the waiting list for an organ transplant that could save their life.
“I was on death’s door when he was murdered and I needed a heart or I was going to be dying in the next few days,” Thomas said in an interview.
So when Thomas gave Stepien away, her father was there in more than just spirit; Stepien told CBS it was the first time she had heard her father’s heart beating in 10 years.
“I was just so thankful that my dad could be here with us today in spirit and a piece of his physical being as well. That was really special for us,” she said in an interview.