Bride escorted down aisle by man who received her father's donated heart
A bride was able to have her father walk her down the aisle in a very unique way in Swissvale, Pennsylvania on Saturday.
Jeni Stepien's father, Michael Stepien, was shot and killed in 2006. After being on life support for 24 hours, Jeni and her mother decided to take him off and donate his organs.
Arthur Thomas was the recipient of Michael's heart. Thomas said he was on death's door and if it had not been for a new heart, he would have died a few days later.
Jeni wrote a letter to Thomas asking if he would walk her down the aisle. After ten years, on the day before her wedding, Jeni felt her father's heartbeat as she laid her hand on Thomas' chest.
"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, really special for us," Jeni said.
Thomas traveled from New Jersey to give the bride away.
"What greater honor could a person have than walking the daughter of the man who's given his heart to him. I can't imagine a greater honor," Thomas said.
Jeni said it felt like her father was there spiritually and physically.