Not a dry eye in the crowd. A bride named Becky Turner got the surprise of a lifetime on her wedding day when a special guest introduced himself in the middle of the wedding ceremony.
Jacob Kilby flew all the way to Palmer, Alaska, to be a part of Becky and her fiance Kelly’s big day, but he wasn’t just a close family member or friend. Rather, Kilby was the recipient of the heart that once belonged to the bride’s late son Triston Green.
“I knew about this surprise but nothing prepares you for the beauty of this moment,” wedding photographer Amber Lanphier wrote in a post to Facebook of capturing the special day. “I met a man named Jacob Kilby yesterday who is alive because of a heart transplant received from this bride’s son Triston. Her son couldn’t be here for the wedding day but Becky’s groom Kelly Turney surprised her by flying Jacob up to Alaska to stand in as a groomsman, carrying Triston’s heart.”
The photographer recalled how Kilby had spoken about wanting to take good care of Triston’s heart. “Kelly stopped the ceremony to introduce Jacob to Becky for the first time,” she wrote. “Everyone was so moved by this and I had to share this amazing story. I had the pleasure of hearing Jacob share his gratitude and plans for a heart healthy life to Triston’s sister before the ceremony. I am so blown away by his story and his amazing outlook on life. You couldn’t ask for a better recipient to receive such a gift.”
Images shared to Facebook have since gone viral after the Love What Matters page curated the emotional moment. In several particularly touching photos, Becky uses a stethoscope to listen to her son’s heartbeat.
The bride’s son died at the age of 19 in 2005, according to The Huffington Post. In a message on Facebook, Becky thanked Kilby for making sure that a part of Green was there on her big day.
“Hands down the best gift,” she wrote in a post. “Most amazing surprise ever! Thank you for caring for Triston’s heart. Thank you for being here!”