Heart Patient Recipient Officiating At Wedding - Fox 2 News Headlines

Heart Patient Recipient Officiating At Wedding

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A Central Texas pastor received a heart transplant and will now perform a wedding for a couple close to his heart.

50-year-old James Murphy will perform the wedding ceremony for the sister of the man whose heart he received.

He is a biker and pastor living in Mexia. Murphy had numerous strokes and eventually was put on a waiting list for a new heart.

"It was hard, I would sit in the hospital every day and see those helicopters flying in, and every time I would wonder if that was my heart coming for me," Murphy said.

After a long wait, he accepted his fate and preached what he thought was his last sermon back in 2012 but things quickly changed.

His health improved after surgery but he didn't know whose heart he received until the family of Ricky Mata reached out.

They've been close friends ever since and now Mata's sister Jeanette Reyes is getting married.

"It was remarkable to hear my brother's heart beating inside him," Reyes told KEYE TV.

She wanted Murphy to be at the wedding, and thought the best way to make that happen, was to have him officiate her wedding.

"My brother was big on going to church so it's kind of ironic that his heart went to a minister," said Reyes.

Murphy says performing the ceremony is his way of paying it forward to the family of the man who's keeping him alive today. "Even though Ricky's body is not there, they'll be able to feel the beat of his heart during that wedding," Murphy said.

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