Bride Who Received Organ Transplant Asks The Donor's Father To Walk Her Down The Aisle On Her Wedding Day


A bride who received life-saving transplant from a woman who died in a fatal car crash asked the father of her donor to walk her down the aisle on her wedding day.

Diana Donnarumma asked Dan Donnelly Jr. whose daughter Heather, died four years ago in a car accident, to walk her down the aisle as a show of gratitude for changing her own life when she was suffering from gastroparesis, an intestinal condition that stops food being pushed through the gut. A disease that had left her unable to eat and forced her to be fed through a feeding tube.

Heather was aged just 26 and had just finished her master's degree at Texas A&M Corpus Christ campus when she killed.

Diane, who married her now-husband at Salvatore's Italian Gardens in Buffalo, New York, said:

"I try to carry on her spirit the best I can every day. And I felt like I needed to – but also I wanted to – give her father the opportunity."

"I was so physically and emotionally exhausted, but now I have a future. I really got to feel all the love … of friends and family. I wouldn't have a future right now. I wouldn't be getting married without her. It was honestly everything I could have hoped for and more. It was filled with emotions and laughter and tears and overwhelming joy. Without Heather's decision, I would not be here today. Death is a tragedy but transplant is a light of beauty in the midst of that tragedy."

Dan said the wedding was tough for him, as he had raised Heather as a single father, but that he was very happy to be part of the ceremony. He said:

"I was very honoured when she asked me about doing it. I'll never get that chance."

At the ceremony, which was caught on video, Dan walked Diane halfway down the aisle before her own biological father took over.

While Diane still suffers from her illness, and she will need to take medication for the rest of her life, her life is vastly improved, and she is now loving life with her husband, thanks to the generosity of an organ donor.

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