Jeni Stepien lost her dad 10 years ago, but Michael Stepien was present on his daughter’s wedding day in a very special way – because the man who received his heart walked her down the aisle.
Jeni had been in contact with Arthur Thomas for 10 years, who was given the lifesaving transplant after Michael was murdered in 2006.
They did not meet until the day before she tied the knot, and she felt her father’s heartbeat for the first time in 10 years.
Arthur travelled from New Jersey to Swissvale in Pittsburgh for the big day.
Jeni told KDKA: ‘It is just like having my father here, and better because we get to share this story with other people, and people get to see that organ donors do matter.’
And she added: ‘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.’
Her sister, Michelle, said: ‘Just hugging him made me feel like I was close to my dad again which on this day was perfect. It was what I needed.’