Dean and Monica Berckenhoff had a very special guest on their wedding day: their late son.
The Texas couple's son Colton died in a freak accident 2012 when he was just 11 years old. But he was able to attend their recent wedding in spirit when the man who received his heart showed up as a surprise.
Travis Stufflebean turned up just as the officiant asked whether there were any objections, thanks to the bride's sister, Amanda, who put together the surprise.
"I love both of you so very much and I know the one thing both of you would want so much is to have Colton here," she told them at their recent wedding.
Then Stufflebean walked in.
"Realistically Colton could not be there, obviously, but I wanted to give them the next best thing," Amanda later told Inside Edition. "And that was Travis."
Stufflebean made the journey from Arkansas to Houston for the special day. He had never met the parents of the boy whose heart he received, but Monica said she knew right away exactly who he was.
"I immediately knew," she told Inside Edition. "... Just overwhelming, you know, the feeling of, 'He's here, it's really happening. Colton's heart is here with us.'"
Stufflebean pulled out a stethoscope so the Berckenhoffs could listen to Colton's heart beating inside of him, a transplant that saved his life.
"I listened to his heartbeat and that's when I really started crying," Dean said.
"It just made the day 10 times better," added Monica, tearing up. "Not only do I get to marry somebody that I love and I'm gonna get to spend the rest of my life with, but now Colton's heart gets to experience that with us so it was nice."