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Domestic abuse survivor marries emergency services worker who saved her after brutal attack.

Cameron Hill met his future wife, Melissa Dohme, in the most unlikely and tragic circumstances.

The emergency service worker was carrying the 20-year-old’s severely battered body from an ambulance into a helicopter following a brutal attack at the hands of her ex-boyfriend.

On 24 January 2012 the Florida woman’s ex-partner stabbed her 32 times, leaving her with horrific, life-threatening injuries and months of rehabilitation ahead of her.

But it was the emotional trauma Melissa thought she might never recover from – until she was reacquainted with Cameron, a firefighter, at a luncheon in her honour 10 months later.

Listen to Mia Freedman’s interview with anti-family violence campaigner Rosie Batty on No Filter. Post continues… 

“I didn’t even want to open my heart up to anything,” Melissa, now 25, told People magazine.

“I was afraid, but then I met Cameron.”

After the couple’s first proper meeting, an unexpected romance bloomed. Their first date in December was followed by years of dating and in November 2015 the couple made the decision to spend the rest of their lives together.

The unlikely fairytale reached its climax when the pair wed in a ceremony in front of around 200 friends and other emergency service workers earlier this month.

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“It was a full circle moment,” Melissa said.

“I spent the worst and the best day of my life with Cameron.”

Her husband Cameron described the day as “beautiful”, telling People,”I married the girl of my dreams.”

Melissa, an advocate for domestic violence prevention at charity Hands Across the Bay, shares her story with high school and college students around the US.

“It’s unbelievable where my life’s come from and where I am now,” Melissa said.

A post shared by Melissa Hill (@melissadohme) on

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“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.”

Melissa said her now-husband’s unwavering support was crucial to this recovery and wanted fellow survivors to know that “life and love after abuse is possible”.

“Cameron was so great, he would always just be there for me I think in every way, even if I was really upset or had a really rough day,” she said.

“He’s my best friend, we’ve been such a team through [my recovery].

“I wouldn’t want to be with anybody else!”

A post shared by Melissa Hill (@melissadohme) on

If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visitwww.1800RESPECT.org.au. In an emergency, call 000.

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