SWISSVALE, PA - A bride was able to have her father walk her down the aisle in a very unique way in Swissvale, Pennsylvania on Saturday.
Jeni Stepien's father, Michael Stepien, was shot and killed in 2006.
After being on life support for 24 hours, Jeni and her mother decided to take him off and donate his organs.
Arthur Thomas was the recipient of Michael’s heart.
Thomas says he was on death's door, and if it had not been for her father's heart, Thomas would have died a few days later.
"I was on death's door when he was murdered and I needed a heart or I was going to be dying in the next few days."
Jeni wrote a letter to Thomas asking if he would walk her down the aisle.
After ten years, on the day before her wedding, Jeni felt her father's heartbeat as she laid her hand on Thomas' chest.
"You can never imagine what that would be like unless you actually do it because so many emotions involved what you're doing,” Thomas said.
He traveled from New Jersey to give the bride away.
"What greater honor could a person have than walking the daughter of the man who's given his heart to him. I can't imagine a greater honor,” Thomas said.
Jeni says it felt like her father was there spiritually and physically.
"It has been the best day ever,” Jeni said.
"I was just so thankful that my dad could be here with us today in spirit and a piece of his physical being as well. That was really, really special for us."
Paul Maenner, Jeni’s groom, said, "I was just overtaken with emotions when I finally saw her walking down. The most beautiful woman in the world that I've ever seen before."
Thomas says there is no greater honor than to be able to walk the daughter of the man who gave him his heart.