In 2006, Michael Stepien, was robbed and shot in the head while walking home from work. As this 53 year old husband and father lay dying in the hospital, his family made the decision to donate his organs.
Mr. Stepien’s heart went to Arthur Thomas, a husband and father of four, who at the time was in congestive heart failure and within days of dying.
This organ donation went through The Center For Organ Recovery and Education, an organization which allows donor families and recipients the option of keeping in touch with each other after the transplant.
Thomas wrote a thank you letter to the Stepien family, which inspired a ten year relationship. Throughout those years there were calls, cards, flowers, letters, and emails sent and received, but they never met in person.
Approximately ten years after the heart transplant, Thomas received a letter from Jeni Stepien asking if he would walk her down the aisle on her wedding day. Thomas said yes.
At the church photos were taken of the bride touching the chest of Mr. Thomas. At the reception the two danced together.