Suffering a tragedy no parent should have to, Becky Turney lost her son, Triston, when he was only 19 years old. Two years later, still mourning but doing her best to live her life, she met a wonderful man and made plans to get married.
So Becky left a seat empty for her lost son, complete with a touching message: I’m in heaven for your wedding so what shall I do? I’ll come down to earth to spend it with you. So save me a seat, just one empty chair. You may not see me but I will be there.
But Becky didn’t realize the surprise that awaited her!
Just before the ceremony began, a young man, just 21 years old, arrived. His name was Jacob, and Becky recognized him immediately. He was the recipient of Triston’s heart. It turns out that Becky had arranged for Triston’s organs to be donated to save the lives of others.
Kelly, Becky’s groom-to-be, had secretly arranged for Jacob to be present for their big day! Jacob flew from San Diego to Alaska to be there. He and Becky had only ever spoken on the phone before that moment.
She got to listen to Jacob’s/Triston’s heart beating, in person. Becky later told a local news station, “That whole day, I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t stop crying,” Becky said of the hours leading up to the ceremony. “Now I know why. My son’s presence was there.”
Becky’s groom spoke out about the occasion, remarking that while he wanted to surprise his new wife, he also wanted the act to support others to become organ donors and to encourage families to meet recipients of the organs their loved ones have donated. He said, “It’s the most selfless act you can do for another person. And we would encourage other families of donors and recipients to reach out, because there’s a lot of healing that goes on.”
The story began sad, but ended with hope!