Organ failure can happen to anyone— which is why being an organ donor is so important. As of April 2018, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services reports there are more than 114,000 people on the national transplant list waiting for an organ. Of these people, 20 die each day waiting for a transplant.
Prior to his death, Triston Green was a selfless person who had volunteered to be an organ donor.
When the Palmer, Alaska, native died suddenly in the fall of 2015, his family was devastated. Triston’s obituary describes him as a “phenomenal human being” with a life “abundant with obstacles and challenges”. Despite these challenges, however, Triston saved the lives of five strangers with the decision to donate his organs.
Following the young man’s death, Becky Green, Triston’s mother, got engaged to her boyfriend Kelly Turney. As Becky planned the wedding, she was heartbroken that Triston couldn’t be there.
Luckily, however, her fiancé had a surprise up his sleeve. Turns out Kelly had been in contact with Jacob Kilby, the 21-year-old man, who was the recipient of Triston’s heart.
Kelly flew Jacob out to Alaska to surprise Becky at the wedding.
“Kelly wanted to surprise Becky,” the young man told CTV News.
“He offered to send me a ticket so I could fly up for the wedding.”
“I was super excited to do it.”
After Becky walked the aisle during the ceremony, Kelly told the room that while Triston couldn’t be there, he was there in “in spirit”.
Then, he invites Jacob up to meet Becky—and the bride cannot believe her eyes.
Love Adventured Photography was there to capture the event in a set of photos that has since gone viral. Within the first day of being posted, they got more than 75,000 likes!
“Things got super emotional,” the young man revealed.
“She was just so excited… it was just unexplainable. She was so overcome with emotion.”
Later, Jacob brought out a stethoscope for Becky to listen to her late son’s heart.
After the ceremony, Becky took to Facebook, describing Jacob’s attendance as “hands down the best gift” and “most amazing surprise ever!”
Jacob was born with a congenital heart defect called hypoplastic left heart syndrome and has been battling serious heart problems ever since.
During Jacob’s first weeks of life, he underwent 3 separate heart surgeries. At 2 years old, he got his first heart implant.
Sadly, when Jacob was a senior in high school, the organ began to reject. He was additionally diagnosed with cardiac allograft vasculopathy which caused his heart arteries to start to collapse. Forty-five days after having a heart attack, Jacob was selected as the recipient of Triston’s heart.
“I couldn’t have received a better heart,” Jacob said.
“I’ve had zero complications. I’m back to exercise, back to school, back to surfing.”
Since Love Adventured shared the wedding photos online, the story has gone viral.
Comments on the video read:
“WHAT A BEAUTIFUL WAY TO BEGIN MY DAY.”
“Oh my gosh, that is simply amazing!”
“You did a stunning job capturing this moment!!!”
“Listening to the heart beat would have been so incredible. what a beautiful touch.”
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Source: Brides via Tout