Domestic abuse survivor Melissa Dohme, 25, married the EMT who saved her life after a brutal attack by her ex-boyfriend.
According to reports, Dohme was stabbed 32 times in the head, neck, and torso area in January 2012, and police and emergency vehicles responded to the call. Among the responders was Cameron Hill, 45, who carried Dohme to the helicopter that would airlift her to a local hospital for immediate treatment.
Hill, who carried Dohme to the helicopter, said at the time that the bloodied and battered victim was the most horrifying thing he had seen in his 17-year career, according to Daily Mail.
Dohme spent a difficult three weeks in the hospital after the attack, falling in and out of consciousness and requiring several facial reconstructive surgeries to repair the nerve damage after the stabbing.
Some 10 months after the attack, Dohme was speaking at a luncheon in her honor when she noticed a pair of EMTs in the audience, one of whom was Hill. They exchanged numbers and Dohme said she “felt giddy,” and that she knew there was something special about Hill.
“I didn’t even want to open my heart up to anything,” Dohme told People. “I was afraid, but then I met Cameron.” Hill proposed to Dohme at a Tampa Bay Rays baseball game, where Dohme was throwing out the ceremonial first pitch. Hill approached Dohme and handed her a baseball with, “Marry Me?” written on it and Dohme quickly said yes.
The two were wed March 4 in front of friends, family, and a number of EMTs who witnessed the unlikely couple come full circle.
“It’s unbelievable where [I’ve] come from and where I am now,” said Dohme. “For so long, I felt when looking at myself, that I wasn’t myself and I always had something wrong with me. I didn’t want people to always have to give me sympathy or anything like that.”
As for Dohme’s attacker, Robert Burton was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole after pleading guilty to attempted murder. Burton stabbed Dohme 32 times and left her for dead before fleeing in a vehicle.
“I’m very thankful that he will forever be in prison. Everything he did to me I believe that it could only be a life sentence,” Dohme said. “I wasn’t able to walk away with ten or twenty stabs. Only after thirty-two stab wounds and Robert Burton thought I was dead did he walk away.”
“The only justice in return was a life sentence.”
Dohme says she has been able to forgive him.
“I offer forgiveness and I forgive him,” Dohme told ABC News after Burton’s sentencing in 2013. “Forgiveness is a sign of letting go and when you forgive someone that hurts you, you take away their power.”
“It’s definitely tough to look at the guy who tried to kill the girl that I love, but it’s a little easier now that I know he got what he deserved,” Hill said.