Home / BBC News / Alaska bride surprised by her late son’s heart recipient

Alaska bride surprised by her late son’s heart recipient

Screen grab of Facebook post by Love Adventured, LLCImage copyright Love Adventured, LLC
Image caption Bride Becky Turney got to listen to her late son’s heartbeat on her wedding day

When Becky Turney’s fiance, Kelly, halted their wedding for a very special gift, she was left speechless.

Her late son, Triston, was not physically present at the Alaska ceremony on Friday, but his heart was.

Triston died in 2015, aged 20, after succumbing to injuries from an accidental shooting.

Her groom had organised the surprise, giving Becky the chance to meet Jacob Kilby, the young man carrying her son’s heart, for the very first time.

Kelly told the BBC: “I began planning her surprise with Jacob about four to five months earlier. He is an amazing young man.

Image copyright Love Adventured, LLC
Image caption The surprise meeting with the man who received her late son’s heart was organised by Becky’s groom, Kelly

“We encourage everyone to please become an organ donor. It saves lives and changed ours forever,” he added.

Becky, 40, also heard her son’s heartbeat on the day, holding a stethoscope to Jacob’s chest in the heart-warming images captured by Love Adventured.

Jacob told the BBC that the experience been “so unrealistic, so heart-warming and incredibly emotional”.

“But overall, it has been all love and two families joining together. Becky and I remain in touch and I am actually still in Alaska visiting here now,” he added.

On Facebook, Becky said that her wedding day was the best day of her life.


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Addressing Jacob, she added: “Hands down the best gift… most amazing surprise ever. Thank you for caring for Triston’s heart. Thank you for being here.”

Image copyright Love Adventured, LLC
Image caption While Becky and Jacob had spoken over the phone, she met him for the first time on her wedding day

An empty seat had been reserved at the celebration for Triston, with a message that read: “I’m in heaven for your wedding, so what shall I do? I’ll come down to Earth to spend it with you. So save me a seat, just one empty chair. You may not see me, but I will be there.”

Jacob made the journey of more than 3,000 miles to Alaska from California to be one of the groomsmen and surprise Becky.

The images from the wedding were widely shared online and touched the hearts of other donor families.

Image copyright Love Adventured, LLC
Image caption Becky’s son Triston donated his heart and several other organs after his death in 2015

“Thank you for giving life to other families. I’m a mom of a little boy who received a heart transplant,” one Facebook user told Becky.

“I’m so very sorry that you lost your precious son. Truly, I cannot say in words what it means that you chose to give life and hope to others when your world was crashing down.

“From one mom to another, thank you.”

By Lamia Estatie, UGC and Social News team

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