Finding love again was the last thing on Melissa Dohme’s mind when she met Cameron Hill in 2012.
At the time, Melissa depended on Cameron to keep her alive after she was stabbed by her ex-boyfriend 32 times.
Cameron, an emergency worker, was one of the first people on the scene to help carry Melissa’s beaten and bloodied body from an ambulance into a helicopter that night.
Melissa, who had been living in Clearwater, Florida at the time of the deadly attack, miraculously survived the stabbing.
About 10 months later, Melissa and Cameron’s paths crossed once again when they met at a luncheon in Melissa’s honor.
“I didn’t even want to open my heart up to anything,” Melissa, 25, told PEOPLE. “I was afraid, but then I met Cameron.”
The pair quickly fell in love and dated for four years before Cameron finally popped the question.
“He’s my best friend, we’ve been such a team through [my healing],” Melissa said. “I wouldn’t want to be with anybody else!”
Melissa and Cameron tied the knot in front of 200 friends and family members at The Lange Farm in Dade City, right after Melissa had her last facial nerve reconstructive surgery.
“It was a full circle moment,” said Melissa. “I spent the worst and the best day of my life with Cameron.”
“It was beautiful,” Cameron, 42, told PEOPLE. “I married the girl of my dreams.”
Though the pair never actually expected to fall in love, they say it “just happened” over time.
“Her strength was unbelievable,” Cameron said. “That was the first thing I fell in love with.”
“It’s unbelievable where my life’s come from and where I am now,” Melissa said. “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.”
“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 added.
The couple agreed that their wedding was like “like a fairy tale,” and Melissa says that for the first time in her whole life she’s finally “so in love.”
“I just really couldn’t ignore how the crazy feeling inside that this is who I’m supposed to be with,” Melissa, who is now an advocate for domestic violence prevention at Hands Across the Bay, told PEOPLE. “Life and love after abuse is possible.”
Several commenters on PEOPLE’s website congratulated Melissa for finding happiness after such a traumatic experience with her ex-boyfriend.
“Congratulations to them both, I wish them all the best! I hope whoever tried to kill her is rotting in prison where he belongs,” one woman commented.
“Bless them both, what inspirations they are. I hope they live a long and happy life together,” another added.