After being brutally stabbed 32 times by her ex-boyfriend in 2011, Melissa Dohme vowed to never date again. But Fate had other ideas, and they’ve recently come to fruition.
The 24-year-old from Clearwater, Florida in the US, was just finishing high school when the drama between her and her then boyfriend, Robert Burton, unfurled. After two years of an increasingly oppressive relationship, Dohme decided she should end things between her and Burton for good.
“When we started dating, everything was perfect, but as I prepared for my high school graduation, things began to change,” she says in an article for CBS News.
“Robert became extremely jealous, controlling, and short-tempered. I was going through verbal and emotional abuse throughout our two-year relationship without knowing it was abuse.”
Dohme worked up the courage to go to the police and ended the relationship. But persistent calls and pleas from Burton wore her down to the point where, when he asked for one last hug, she agreed.
“He was crying and said, “After all we have been through, I just need closure to move on after the terrible end to our relationship.” He promised to leave me alone forever if I just met him for a hug,” she says.
“I ignored my intuition and walked outside.”
Burton then stabbed her repeatedly, hitting her head, neck and face 19 times. Dohme was stabbed another 13 times on her hands and arms as she tried to defend herself.
Emergency services were called, and firefighter and paramedic Cameron Hill was one of the first on the scene. He remembers seeing how badly wounded Dohme was and thinking she wouldn’t survive.
“Nobody lives that gets stabbed that many times,” he says in the Inside Edition video above.
But Dohme did survive, and even though the experience made her think she’d never find love, it showed up in the form of the very person that helped save her life: Hill.
Cut to 2015 and Dohme and Hill are in a happy and loving relationship together. And when Dohme was asked to make the first (ceremonial) pitch at a Tampa Bay Rays baseball game, Hill decided the time was right to take things to the next level.
She stepped out onto the field, taking a few questions from media about the pitch, and waving to the stands where Hill was supposed to be watching. Then the announcer let her know he was somewhere else:
“First responder and now boyfriend Cameron Hill!” the speakers blared, and Hill ran onto the field, and up to Dohme. He handed her a ball with his message on it and got down on one knee. A breathless Dohme said yes, and now the story is warming peoples hearts all across the internet.
While grand proposal gestures are nothing new, the stories behind them are what makes each experience so special. And this one is definitely a keeper.