Richard Hershey knows firsthand that life is precious — and can end at any time.
As a New Jersey State Police detective, Hershey often puts himself in danger to protect his community; in April, he was shot in the line of duty. While recovering, he realized he was done waiting to take his relationship to the next level. So, in the hospital, he plotted a special surprise for his girlfriend, Nikki Grazioli.
Hershey was responding to a home invasion on April 25 when five cars drove up to where he stood outside. He told them to leave, and as one drove away, someone inside opened fire, hitting him in the leg.
The detective spent 11 days in the hospital, during which Nikki couldn't visit because of COVID-19 restrictions. So, when Hershey was finally released, she couldn't be more thrilled to wrap her arms around him.
But her elation quickly turned to tears when he got down on one knee. Nikki's sister, Rachelle Alven, recorded the beautiful moment Hershey asked Nikki to marry him. And, of course, she said yes!
Nikki rode the roller coaster of emotions the best she could. She'd spent nearly two weeks worrying and missing Hershey. Now she's the happiest she's ever been!
"We now know that nightmares sometimes become reality and that time will be on our side for all sorts of healing coming this way. Kiss and hug everyone you know just a little tighter, I sure know I will," Nikki wrote on Facebook. "I got to kiss and hug him for the first time in 11 days and ended up walking out with a fiancé!
Congratulations, you two! We couldn't be more excited — or grateful for Hershey's service. You both deserve a lifetime of happiness and the wedding of your dreams!
See the sweet proposal in the video below, and share to spread some joy!
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