On the day in 2006 when Michael Stepien of Swissvale, PA, was killed by a mugger, Arthur Thomas lay in a New Jersey hospital. His heart was failing, and he was only expected to live a few more days. Stepien was registered as an organ donor, so his heart was transplanted into Thomas, who recovered completely. During the past decade, Thomas has kept in touch with Stepien's daughter, Jeni, and recently she wrote him a letter, asking if he'd be willing to walk her down the aisle at her wedding last Saturday, since her Dad could not. As you can see from the picture, Thomas happily agreed.
Thomas and his wife traveled from New Jersey to the Pittsburgh area for the ceremony. He said he could not imagine a greater honor than escorting the daughter of the man who gave him his heart, and his life. Before walking down the aisle, Jeni held her hand against Thomas' chest and felt her father's heartbeat. She said she was glad her father was represented at her wedding, in a special way.