Becky Turney knew one important person wouldn’t be there to watch her walk down the aisle at her wedding– her son Triston.
The 19-year-old teen died two years before, and his absence left a gaping hole in his family’s life.
Turney reserved an empty chair at her wedding to honor her son’s death. However, she never expected to physically feel his presence again by hearing his heart beating in the man who received Triston’s heart in a transplant.
Jacob Kirby was born with a deadly heart defect, but got a second chance at life after receiving Triston’s heart. Turney’s groom secretly flew Kilby from San Diego all the way to the wedding in Alaska to surprise her.
Just before the wedding started, Kirby walked out and surprised everyone.
“I lost my mind. I squealed like a little girl. I jumped up and down. It was incredible,” Becky told TODAY.
Kirby had a stethoscope with him, and allowed Turney to hear her son’s heart beating once more.
The moment was captured in a series of photographs that went viral soon after being posted on Facebook.
“There really are no words, and that’s the coolest part because the pictures, they say it all,” Becky said.
“Everyone has a legacy, but to see how Triston changed Jacob’s life is just incredible…It makes you super proud.”
Triston’s other vital organs were also donated and saved four other lives. The families of the recipients have since reached out to Turney with gratitude.
She says those relationships are life-changing.
“Those bonds that we’re creating are priceless. They’re healing,” she said.