A domestic violence survivor threw out the first pitch at a Tampa Bay Rays game Monday night, only to get a surprise marriage proposal from the paramedic who saved her life, as a stunned Tropicana Field crowd cheered, Fox Sports is reporting.
Melissa Dohme was invited by the Tampa Bay Rays to throw out Monday’s ceremonial first pitch before the Rays-Yankees game at Tropicana Field. The 23-year-old domestic violence survivor has been a tireless advocate for victims since suffering her own attack in 2012.
On her way out to the mound, however, she got a surprise: her boyfriend, paramedic Cameron Hill, interrupted her by presenting her a baseball with the words “Will you marry me?” written on it, according to the Tampa Tribune. He then dropped to one knee and popped the question.
The Tampa Bay Rays Facebook page explains how it went down.
“When Melissa Dohme was attacked by an ex-boyfriend in 2012, an EMT named Cameron Hill came to her rescue and helped save her life. Tonight, she threw our #Rays ceremonial first pitch for her community work opposing domestic violence—and Cameron, who’s been by her side ever since the attack, had a surprise for her.”
She said “Yes,” by the way, and completed her ceremonial duties by making the pitch.
In January, 2012, then 20-year-old Dohme was brutally attacked by her estranged boyfriend, Robert Lee Burton, in her Saint Petersburg home. Dohme says that Burton was enraged at her for having ended their relationship. He stabbed her 32 times.
She would later tell CNN’s Nancy Grace what she felt after the attack.
“I felt myself drifting and I was about to take my last breath. When that happened, I changed my prayer and I actually prayed to God to please forgive me for my sins and take me to Heaven. And as soon as that happened, a police officer shined her light on me from down the road.”
One of the first responders on the scene that day was paramedic Cameron Hill. Dohme credits hill with saving her life.
The two eventually formed a relationship. Hill sat by Melissa’s side as her abuser was sentenced to life in prison in October, 2013.
Melissa, meanwhile, became an advocate for domestic violence survivors in the Tampa Bay area. Speaking to Nancy Grace in 2014, Melissa said that she believes God saved her life to give her a purpose — counseling other women and girls about domestic violence.
“I knew that when I woke up alive after the attack of being stabbed 32 times by my ex-boyfriend that I’m alive for a reason and I was given this purpose to be an advocate against domestic violence.”
As of this post, Melissa and Cameron have not set a wedding date.
[Image courtesy of: Facebook]