Heat Advisories in Effect

Alaska Bride Gets Ultimate Gift When Son’s Organ Donation Recipient Attends Wedding

ALASKA  --  An Alaskan bride walked to the alter having recently lost her son, but when an unexpected guest showed up, the ceremony became even more special.

Becky Turney never imagined what would happen just before she said "I do," as NBC's Catie Beck reports.

A seat was saved at the ceremony for Becky's late son Tristan, an organ donor who died at age 19 but gave new life to several others. While the newlyweds were at the altar, Becky received a stunning surprise when she met the young man who is now alive because of her son's heart.

"He physically brought my son's heart to my wedding. Like, that's just amazing. I don't know if there's a way to put that where anyone would be able to understand the joy that I felt," said Becky.

Becky's husband Kelly planned the surprise gift after Jacob made contact online months before.

"Building that relationship with Jacob has probably been one of the most amazing parts of this whole process," said Kelly.

Jacob was born with a congenital heart defect and had his first transplant at two years old. After a heart attack at age 20, he needed a new one to survive.

"I'm very aware of how much of a gift that this heart is and that, you know, not everyone gets a gift like this," he said.

Becky says the wedding gift of getting to know Jacob will keep giving for the rest of her life.

"It's incredible to have that and to get to be a part of his life and watch Tristan's legacy live on," she said.

In addition to Jacob Kilby, Tristan's organs have saved four other lives.