Man with heart of bride's father walks her down the aisle - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Man with heart of bride's father walks her down the aisle

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PITTSBURGH, PA (WKOW) -- Before her wedding, a bride had an emotional first meeting with a man, but it wasn't the first time she felt his heart beat.

Jeni Stepien's father was murdered back in 2006.  His organs were donated, and his heart went to Arthur Thomas. Arthur had been waiting for a heart for 16 years.

Ten years after he received his new heart, he got a letter from Jeni. It said: "I'm the daughter of the man whose heart's inside you, and I'm gonna get married on August 6th. One further thing if you're willing, would you walk me down the aisle?"  He got permission from his daughter, since Jeni would be the first person he'd walk down the aisle, and she said it was okay.

Arthur and his wife made the trip from New Jersey to Pennsylvania.  For the first time in a decade, Jeni got to feel her father's heartbeat.  

Jeni says, "It's just like having my dad here and just better because we get to share this story with other people and you know other people see that organ donors do matter."

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