This couple had the opportunity to listen to their late son's heart for the first time since his death, that too on their wedding day. Because he lived on in the man who received his donated heart.
Losing a child can cause grief like no other. That beautiful soul that was a culmination of two people's love - to suddenly lose it can be devastating. And this couple nearly broke with the pain of it.
However, life had to move on because "time waits for no man." And so, Monica and Dean Berckenhoff set about exchanging vows when they received the best gift ever. They got the chance to listen to their late son's beating heart once again for the first time in years. WSFA News reported the heart-warming story.
The ecstatic couple from Willis, Texas were stunned when a man interrupted their wedding ceremony. However, this was no ordinary man. This man was the one who received their son's donated heart and he stood with a stethoscope in his hand.
As he went up to them, he let them hear his heart, the one that originally belonged to their late son. The moment was extremely touching as the couple broke down.
The Berckenhoffs had lost their oldest son, Colton, in 2012, according to Fox 8. He was just 11 years old when he died. The loss of their only son devastated the couple. After his sudden death though, they made the decision to donate his organs so that maybe he'd be able to save someone else. And so, Colton's heart was given to Travis Stufflebean, who had been born with a bad heart. "It all started back in 1991, I was born with a bad heart," said Travis.
He had reportedly already undergone five heart transplants, but none of them lasted very long. “All through my life, I’ve dealt with open heart surgery and I’ve had five and Colton was the sixth one,” he said to New York station WWNYTV. Thankfully, Colton's was the perfect match and his heart has been beating in Travis's chest ever since then.
However, this moment wasn't just special for the Berckenhoffs. Travis said that he's been waiting to do this for a long time and that this was a big moment for him too. And this magical event was set up by Monica's sister, Amanda, ABC 13 reported.
“It’s been seven years and it’s something we’ve always wanted,” Monica told ABC 13. “Closure,” Dean joined in. “I heard his [Colton's] heart.”
“Colton’s not here, physically, but he’s here,” Dean said to People.
Travis had his own two bits to share because it was something the heart had been longing to do. “Because you’re bringing the heart back home. To me, this is just a temporary heart. I’m just borrowing it. To me, this is where it belongs. With this wonderful and awesome family,” he told the awed couple.