This Bride Was Walked Down The Aisle By The Man Who Received Her Father's Donated Heart

"I can’t imagine a greater honor," he said.

A Pennsylvania woman found a way for her late father to accompany her down the aisle at her wedding last Saturday by having the man who received his donated heart give her away.

According to Pittsburgh's KDKA, Jeni Stepien's father Michael was murdered in 2006. He donated his organs, including his heart, which was given to Arthur Thomas. 

ABC 11 reports that Stepien asked Thomas to do her the honor of walking her down the aisle. "Jeni wrote me a letter," Thomas told ABC 11, "and she said 'Tom, I'm the daughter of the man whose heart's inside you, and I'm going to get married on August 6th. One further thing, if you're willing — would you walk me down the aisle?'"

Thomas was more than happy to do it, traveling from his home in New Jersey to join Stepien and her family in Swissvale, Pennsylvania for the ceremony. "I was on death's door when (Michael Stepien) was murdered and I needed a heart or I was going to be dying in the next few days," he told KDKA. "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."

"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," Stepien told KDKA. "That was really special for us." 

For information on how to register as an organ donor please visit OrganDonor.Gov.

(H/T: DowzerW/ABC 11)