Brutal assault changes my fiancee's engagement plans - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Brutal assault changes my fiancee's engagement plans

Jeff Soler in the hospital after the assault. Jeff Soler in the hospital after the assault.
With my new fiancee, Jeff Soler With my new fiancee, Jeff Soler

I awoke at 3 a.m. Monday, March 12, 2012 to see if my boyfriend was back from his guys' night. He and I, plus my and his parents, cousin and close friend had all flown to Park City, Utah Saturday for a week. I grabbed the phone and called both my boyfriend, Jeff, and his friend, Dustin, but neither answered.

A few minutes later, we received a phone call at our condo. I heard his dad repeating, "Altercation, life flight, bleeding on the brain." I ran into my parents' room to tell them what had happened. At first, we didn't know if it was Jeff or Dustin who had the head injury. Moments later, I heard it was my boyfriend.

I sat down on the couch and shook from head to toe. In shock, my mom said, "Get dressed; we're going to the hospital". My dad made the drive from Park City to Salt Lake City in record time. I sat in the backseat, pinching myself, begging to wake up from this nightmare. We arrived at Intermountain Hospital at the same time the helicopter carrying Jeff landed.

After a briefing with a social worker, we were able see him. He had a neck brace on, had several machines hooked up to him, and was being stitched up by an ER physician's assistant.

Jeff wasn't coherent, but he was alive. We had been in such a state of shock, we failed to realize Dustin was still at the hospital in Park City. Thankfully, he was treated and released within a few hours.

We received good news Monday afternoon, after a second brain scan, the bleeding on Jeff's brain had stopped, but he had a broken jaw and nose.

Dustin informed us he and Jeff were walking back to our hotel, Marriott's Summit Watch, along Main Street in Park City when two men approached them and asked Dustin, "What are you looking at pretty boy?"

They then shoved Dustin up against the side of a building. Jeff looked at Dustin and said, "They're not worth it. Let's go".

That's when they threw a punch, breaking Jeff's jaw and nose and knocking him to the ground. He hit his head and was down for the count. He didn't even have a chance to defend himself.

Dustin tried his best to protect him and Jeff, but two against one was no match. He ended up fighting them 90 to 100 feet down the sidewalk before the two guys left. It was then that a police officer found Jeff and Dustin, but the two attackers had fled the scene.

The officer, assuming Dustin and Jeff were fighting each other, handcuffed and placed them in the backseat of his squad car. After seeing the cut on Jeff's jaw, he then took them to Park City Hospital, but made the comment that they were going to jail once they were released from the hospital.

After spending two days in ICU, Jeff was moved to a regular room. I stayed with him most of the time as the rest of our group visited bars, businesses and restaurants asking if they had surveillance cameras and if they've seen the two suspects.

Jeff continued to ask if they had found the guys yet, and I just kept telling him "not yet". He and Dustin kept apologizing for "ruining" our vacation. But we continued reminding them there will always be mountains but not another Jeff and Dustin.

Wednesday evening, Jeff was able to leave the hospital. The pain level and dizziness, though, remained the same. He slept through the next day. But Thursday afternoon, he wanted to get some fresh air. Jeff didn't feel fantastic, but we took some photos and tried to focus on his ability to be outside.

We were getting ready to head back to our room when he asked his dad to take the video camera. He said, "Dustin and I feel really bad about what happened. There were a lot of things we wanted to do but didn't get a chance. But there's one thing I want to do, and that's tell Rachel I love her very much, and you're the best part of my life, and I would like that part to be forever." He got down on one knee and pulled out a beautiful ring and asked the most important question a man can ask a woman. Of course, I said yes!

In complete shock, I asked if anyone knew. Comes to find out, he asked for my parents' blessing in the hospital and had been planning to propose since July. The original plan was on our sleigh ride Monday night. Jeff had prearranged with the sleigh ride company to make a special stop; however, we spent that night in ICU.

At first I was disappointed. What a romantic way to propose, but I quickly realized this proposal was much better. It took all the strength Jeff had to get out of bed, get down on one knee and ask me to become his wife.

We haven't set a date yet as we're focused on his health, but I can't wait to become Mrs. Soler!

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