A bride got a big surprise on her wedding day when she met the man who received her late son’s heart. Becky Turney was ready to walk down the aisle during her summer Alaskan wedding when the groom made a special announcement.
Her future husband, Kelly, turned to guests and explained that while her late son Triston, who had died at the age of 19, could not make it to the ceremony, Jacob Kilby, the man who received his donated heart, was in attendance.
“I was overcome with joy,” Becky told In Touch. “When Jacob came forward I just threw my arms around him and just hugged him.” The pair had messaged several times over Facebook since the transplant in 2015 but had never met in person.
The photos of Becky and Jacob meeting quickly went viral — and as expected there was not a dry eye in the audience. “Even the people who knew about the surprised cried,” Kelly added. While Triston was not physically at the wedding, Becky revealed she felt his presence and she made sure to honor him by attaching photos of her son to her bridal bouquet.
Following the “I do’s” Jacob gave Becky one more present to remember the day. He presented Becky with a stethoscope to hear her son’s heart. “It was incredible,” Becky, who declined to talk about the nature of her son’s death, said. “Nothing short of amazing to hear my son’s heart beating.”
She added, “Having him there provided so much comfort and healing to our family.” As for Jacob, who was born with a heart condition, it was an honor to meet the mother of his organ donor. “I wouldn’t be here without Triston,” he said. “I want Becky to know I respect the gift I’ve been given, and that I’ll always take care of it.”