October 28, 2021

Bride Loses Her Son 2 Years before Wedding, Breaks Down on Seeing Unexpected Guest's Face

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A bride left an empty seat for her late son at her wedding, who had tragically passed away at 19. She also honored him by adorning her flower bouquet with his pictures. 

No matter how strong we are, nothing can fully prepare us for bearing the loss of a loved one. Losing a child is by far the most trying experience for any parent, and no matter how much time goes by, the pain never completely subsides. 

40-year-old Becky Turney's world was turned topsy turvy when she lost her teen son, Triston, in 2015. So on the most special day of her life, she decided to remember her child in as many ways as she could. 

Becky Turney was absolutely shocked to see the recipient of her late son's heart on her wedding day. | Photo: YouTube.com/NBC News


Becky was all set to marry the love of her life, 44-year-old Kelly Turney, in a dreamy wedding ceremony in Paradise, Alaska, in 2017. However, there was a part of her that longed to have her son around on such a special day. 

Her father walked her down the aisle, but as soon as she held Kelly's hands, he began walking her back down the aisle to where the guests were standing. Becky was left stunned and couldn't figure out what Kelly was trying to do. 

She shared how she started asking her groom why he had pulled such a move, and that too, in the middle of the ceremony. But what she didn't know was that her husband had planned the biggest and most unexpected surprise for her. 


Soon afterward, Kelly began talking about Triston, revealing details about how he had donated his organs and saved the lives of five different people. He then announced that one of the recipients was also present at the ceremony. Becky shared:

"At that moment, I just lost it. If my brother-in-law hadn't been holding my hand, I would have fallen down."


Becky recalled being taken aback after hearing Kelly's words, unable to move or say a word. She then met Jacob Kilby, a 21-year-old young guy who had received Triston's heart and was disguised as the sixth groomsman at her wedding. 

Becky Turney was shocked to see the recipient of her late son's heart, Jacob Kilby, at her wedding. | Photo: YouTube.com/NBC News


While Becky and Jacob had exchanged letters before and talked over the phone on her 40th birthday, this was the first time she met him in person. Regarding the emotional meeting, Becky also added: 

“I lost my mind. I squealed like a little girl. I jumped up and down. It was incredible."

The Love Adventured photographer who captured the wedding photographs shared how Becky took a stethoscope and heard the beating of Triston's heart inside Kilby's chest. She then threw her arms around him, expressing her sheer joy. 

Becky used a stethoscope to hear Triston's heart beating in Kilby's chest. | Photo: YouTube.com/NBC News


Kilby traveled from Alaska to California on Kelly's request to surprise Becky. He was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome and had undergone three heart surgeries before having his first transplant at the age of 2. 

Unfortunately, his heart started deteriorating, leading to a heart attack. He was then placed on the transplant waiting list and received a second successful transplant on October 21, 2015. Since then, his life has returned to normal. 

Talking to BBC about his experience, Kilby shared how truly "unrealistic, heartwarming and incredibly emotional" everything had been for him. He also added how glad he was to be with Becky on such a special day. 


Becky and Kelly Turney pictured with the recipient of Triston's heart, Jacob Kilby, on their wedding day. | Photo: YouTube.com/NBC News

Becky and Kelly had been married once before and had met through work. Kelly worked as a law enforcement officer, but after retiring, he began handling the family's antique business. Becky worked as a 911 dispatcher. 


She is also a mom to 21-year-old Chase, 15-year-old Maddy, and 13-year-old Paige. On her wedding day, she had left an empty seat for her late son, with an emotional message written all over it. 

Furthermore, she even honored his memory by decorating her flower bouquet with his pictures. Together with Kilby and her husband Kelly, she stressed the importance of organ donation and saving lives, and we couldn't agree more with her message.


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