Jeni Stepien tragically lost her father, Michael Stepien, when he was murdered outside of Pittsburgh in 2006. The silver lining of that horrific event occurred when his heart was donated to save the life of Arthur Thomas, a man who had been waiting 16 years for the transplant. Ten years later, Jeni received the opportunity to be escorted down the aisle at her wedding by the man who holds her father’s heart.
Though Jeni had never met Arthur, the transplant receiver traveled to Pittsburgh to walk Jeni down the aisle on her big day. In an emotional interview, Jeni said, “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.” The bride’s sister, Michelle, added that having Arthur there made her feel closer to her late father.