He's "Bringing The Heart Back Home": Man, Who Received The 11-Year-Old Boy's Heart, Reunites With Donor's Parents On Their Wedding Day
July 23, 2019 14:47 By Fabiosa
Heart donation is a gift of life to those for whom standard treatments are no longer working. Donors give years of life to heart recipients and their families. They give them hope and those precious days and years to spend enjoying life. Today, 4,000 people in the United States alone are on the national transplant waiting list for a donor's heart.
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In June 2012, 11-year-old Colton Berckenhoff was killed in an accident in Porter, Texas. The boy's father, Dean Berckenhoff and his then-fiancée, Monica, made the tough decision to donate their son's organs:
"It wasn't easy, it was a really hard decision to make because you know, that’s your family, that's someone that you love...Colton is a hero, he's more of hero than any person that I know, he saved more than just one life by donating his organs."
7 years later, on the day when the couple decided to tie the knot, they received one of the best possible gifts ever: the chance to hear their late son’s heart beating one more time.
Travis Stufflebean, who received their son’s donated heart appeared in the middle of the ceremony with a stethoscope:
“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,”
- Stufflebean told the amazed couple. There wasn't a dry eye in the room.
For the couple, it was something they always wanted: to be closer, to hear their son's heart beating again.
"Overwhelmed, very overwhelmed, very surprised. We weren't expecting that at all,"
- described the couple after the ceremony.
Thanks to Colton, Stufflebean is now a youth pastor in Arkansas. He loves, dreams and changes people's life. Donating their son's heart they didn't lose him, they made him alive again. Life is the most precious gift we can give and receive!