Heart transplant

Heart transplant patient dances with donor sister at wedding

Scott Rutherford and Julie Teasdale. (SWNS)

This is the moment a heart donor’s sister danced with the man her brother saved – on his wedding day.

Scott Rutherford, 28, shared an emotional embrace with bride Julie Teasdale as they remembered her brother, John Carter, who died of a brain tumor in 2008.

Scott formed an unbreakable bond with John’s parents six years ago – after finding out they had chosen to donate their 33-year-old son’s heart so he could live.

An emotional Scott said he went to Julie’s wedding last Saturday so his brother John could be there with the family “in his own way”.

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Scott wanted Julie's brother to be at his wedding

Scott wanted Julie’s brother to be at his wedding “his way”. (SWNS)

Scott Rutherford with Julie Teasdale and John Carter's mother Freda.  (SWNS)

Scott with Freda, mother of Julie and John Carter. (SWNS)

Scott, an actor from North Shields, Tyne and Wear, said: ‘Freda just put her hand on my chest and felt John’s heart beat and Julie did the same, and I think we all just shared this time together.

“It was really emotional. I had tears running down my face, but it was so beautiful at the same time. It felt like he was there in his own way.”

“I remember Julie saying when my partner and I were leaving, ‘Thank you for coming, that made my night.’

“And I said, ‘I wouldn’t miss this for the world. You saved my life, so of course I’m going to take John with you.

Since birth, Scott suffered from “transposition of the great arteries” – an extremely rare condition where the pumping chambers of the heart do not work properly.

He underwent four open-heart surgeries and “hundreds” of medical procedures, before being struck down by heart failure at 14 and accepting a transplant a year later.

Scott later ran into his donor family at a memorial service, with Freda, John’s mother, who continued to attend his birthdays and key life events.

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Scott Rutherford in hospital as a teenager.  (SWNS)

Scott Rutherford in hospital as a teenager. (SWNS)

Scott has always wanted to meet John’s family, but only bumped into them when he volunteered to speak at a last-minute organ donor event.

Scott and Freda became close, with the pair referring to their “heart-mother” and “heart-son” respectively.

And after Scott was introduced to John’s sister Julie a few years later, he said it was “incredible” to be asked to attend her wedding.

Scott added: “I felt like I was crying straight away as it was the first time we had been together since the pandemic so we hadn’t seen each other in three and a half years.

“Then Freda, John’s mum came over to me, pulled me up, and I just stood there cuddling his mum, rocking from side to side, with her hand on my chest.

“And then she took me to the dance floor, and that’s when I went into Julie’s arms, and we just shared this beautiful moment together, dancing and rocking to this song, feeling John there. the low.”