Almost every culture in the world has special ceremonies to honor rites of passage. From birth, to the ascension to adulthood, from weddings to funerals, these key moments in a person’s life have been marked by ceremony for millennia.
We just found a heartwarming story about a young girl from Texas who was celebrating her quinceañera, a traditional latino celebration held on a girl’s fifteenth birthday. But far from simply marking a moment when she passes to young womanhood, her party became a celebration for much more. You are going to love this story when you watch the video.
Monique Salinas is a lot like most teenage girls. Any reason to get dressed up in pretty dresses and have a party is a good reason. So when her family threw her a quinceañera, a sort of latino “sweet fifteen” party, she was feeling it.
But she was also feeling a hole in her heart. Ten years earlier, her brother, Mikey, was killed in a tragic car accident, and Monique had never fully moved on from the loss. His absence was always the backdrop at special family events.
And Monique’s quinceañera was not going to be any different, except for a very special guest that Monique was not expecting.
Eighteen year old Aubrey Reeves was waiting in the wings to surprise Monique. Ten years ago, when Mikey Salinas died, Aubrey had been in the hospital suffering from a rare congenital heart disease. She had rejected two previous heart transplants, when Mikey’s heart was made available.
Now, ten years later, Aubrey was ready to surprise Monique. They now consider themselves sisters, brought together by one special brother.
The internet has gone crazy for this heartwarming story, with people taking to social media to say things like:
“I literally cried.. Ughhh.”- Jac.channel
“Your son gave life….. Thank you for being unselfish.”- E. Rodriguez
“Very emotional story.”- Rubin Rivera
“thanks so sweet, I almost starting crying.”- Faith Berman
“what a beautiful yet sad story.”- Melissa Lopez
“I am crying. this is so sad to hear and learn too. this is a very said story to learn. I feel bad for her but glad that she came to dance.”- Isabel Perez
“Absolutely beautiful.”- April Fullford
“Aubrey is really cute (and seems to be very sweet).”- Junkiestube
“So beautiful.”- Vanessa Palacio
Monique’s mother, Melissa Hernandez even took time to share her gratitude with the huge outpouring of support from posters, saying in part:
“I would like to thank all that have posted such wonderful comments about this touching story and a real life story that our family has had to endure, and we were honored to have the beautiful young lady Aubrey there with my son’s beating heart. She will forever hold the key to our hearts as she holds my son and my daughter’s brother in hers. Thank you again.I wish you much joy and happiness. Again to all that have commented and shared the story we are truly grateful.”
Have you or someone you know ever had an organ transplant and met the donor or their family? Share your stories with us here.