Becky Turney’s life came to a screeching halt in fall of 2015 when she lost her 19-year-old son, Triston Green. Nearly two years after the loss of her son, Turney was able to rebuild her life, piece by piece, and pursue new love, according to People magazine.
In July, Turney began her road to recovery at her wedding to the love of her life. But she still wanted to honor her late son. She insisted on keeping a chair empty during the ceremony in loving memory:
What the Alaskan mother didn’t expect was to be reunited with her son in an unexpected way. Her groom, Kelly Turney, had contacted Jacob Kilby, the man who received Triston’s heart from an organ donation shortly after he died.
Members of the wedding party, including photographer Amber Lanphier, organized for Kilby to surprise Turney during the ceremony as the final of five groomsmen.
Months of planning allowed the 21-year-old man to secretly fly out from San Diego to Alaska to help make Turney’s special day even more memorable, as People reported.
Lanphier shared the story and photos on her Facebook page Love Adventured, and the internet couldn’t get enough — her post has gone viral with over 100,000 shares and nearly 300,000 likes:
Becky was able to listen to her son’s heart in Kirby’s body with a stethoscope — a small piece of her son that continues to live on.
Becky told “Today“:
“I lost my mind. I squealed like a little girl. I jumped up and down. It was incredible. There really are no words, and that’s the coolest part because the pictures, they say it all.”
She was understandably shocked:
“I’ve never ever been surprised like that, like ever. I’m the girl who secretly unwraps all the Christmas presents under the tree and puts them back. So for him to pull this off was just incredible.”
Triston’s organs saved Kilby’s life. According to People, Kilby was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome. By the age of 2, he’d already undergone three heart surgeries, including one transplant. Then, two years ago, his health took a turn for the worse.
His heart began to shut down, and he was quickly placed on the organ transplant list. In October of the same year, he received Triston’s heart — and with it a chance at new life.
Kilby told “Today”:
“There has seriously not been one complication with the transplant. Everything’s been golden. I surf, I go to the gym everyday, I do cardio. I’m back to my normal self.”
“Today” also reported that several other of Triston’s vital organs saved lives, including a lung recipient. Becky hopes this story will inspire others to sign up as organ donors, if possible, giving them a chance to impact the life of another much like her son did for Kilby with his heart.