Did you see this article? A victorious Survivor! Hey you…yes, YOU reading this….You ARE amazing! ~ Stay Fabulous!
by Elahe Izadi
Melissa Dohme — a domestic violence survivor and advocate — stepped to the plate and prepared to throw out the first pitch at Monday night’s Tampa Bay Rays game. Her boyfriend, Cameron Hill, ran out on the field and handed her the ball. Scribbled on it were four words: “Will you marry me?”
A surprised Dohme kissed Hill, marveled at her ring and somehow still managed to throw the pitch.
She also said yes.
The pair first crossed paths on Jan. 24, 2012. Dohme had been stabbed 32 times by her ex-boyfriend. Hill, a firefighter-paramedic, found Dohme covered in blood and on the pavement outside of her house in Clearwater.
“It was so bad. You couldn’t tell she was blond,” Hill told the Tampa Bay Times in 2013. Hill loaded Dohme onto the helicopter. He later said “for some reason, I didn’t think it would be the last time I was going to see her.”
Dohme’s ex-boyfriend, Robert Lee Burton Jr., had stabbed her repeatedly in the face and neck. Two bystanders called 911 during the horrific attack that began when Burton came by Dohme’s house to give her a hug, according to prosecutors.
“Both of their lives will never be the same,” the judge said during the sentencing hearing.
But, Dohme told WFLA in 2013: “By a miracle, I am still here.”
Melissa, then 20, spent three weeks in the hospital, flat-lining four times and suffering nerve damage that partly paralyzed one side of her face. To the surprise of her doctors, she left rehab walking on her own. She traveled to Europe. She went back to school, her drive to become a nurse even stronger.
In the fall of 2012, two of her first responders surprised her when she spoke at a church. Cameron was one. They hugged, and made plans to meet again.
“I had this feeling about him,” she said.
By December, the two were dating. Dohme said in 2013 that part of her doesn’t want to be upset anymore about what happened in 2012 “because I met Cameron out of it.”
Dohme went on to become an advocate for domestic violence survivors and repeatedly shared her story about tragedy and triumph. She threw the first pitch at Monday’s game as a representative of Hands Across the Bay, a nonprofit supporting Tampa Bay families.
“If you believe there’s good in the world then you’ll find it,” Dohme said in 2013. “I believe he’s the answer to my prayers that I’ve prayed all the time.”