Sophie Delezio, survivor of a double car accident, has announced her engagement to her high school sweetheart and “best friend.”
Ms Delezio, 22, is set to marry her lifelong boyfriend turned lover Joseph Salerno, 23, after he popped the question on Valentine’s Day this year.
Ms Delezio became a household name in Australia after she survived horrific burns in 2003 when she was two years old after a car drove into her daycare center in Sydney.
In a tragic twist, when she was five, she was run over by a car near her home in 2006 — before making a stunning recovery.
She first met Mr. Salerno in swimming class when she was six years old, before the pair finally became close in high school when she was 14.
The two got back together after Ms Delezio returned to Sydney during the pandemic in 2020, and they became a couple.
Sophie Delezio, 22, (left) is engaged to her ‘best friend’ Joseph Salerno, 23 (right)
The two have known each other since high school, where they took pictures at the prom before Ms. Delezio moved to London to pursue her dreams.
Ms Delezio told The Australian Women’s Weekly that it came as a complete surprise when Mr Salerno made her a scrapbook with a picture of a ring on the last page.
“I had no idea,” said Mrs. Delezio.
Ms Delezio returned to Australia from London, where she wanted to study sociology and international relations before they became a couple in 2021.
In 2022, they traveled 26 countries for 10 months, including New Zealand, where they met Mr. Salerno’s grandparents, and decided they wanted to live together.
Using photos and mementos from their time around the world, Mr. Salerno began putting together the scrapbook he knew would contain the photo of their engagement ring.
“She turned to me and I was on one knee bawling,” Mr Salerno told The Australian Woman’s Weekly.
“Our go-to song is ‘Be My Baby’ so I just asked if Sophie would be my baby and luckily she ticked the box on the back of the scrapbook that said yes.”
Ms. Delezio said spending time apart after high school helped them grow closer.
“(We) had to grow separately before (we) could come together,” she said.
‘We both had our independence and had different relationships, which was nice, but we still found each other again.’
The romantic couple has yet to set a date for the wedding.
After returning to Sydney in 2020, Ms Delezio quickly resumed her romance with Mr Salerno
The two traveled the world in 2022 before Mr Salerno made a scrapbook of their memories along with a picture of an engagement ring on the last page
Australia rallied around Ms Delezio when a car crashed through the window of her nursery when she was two, pinning her underneath and severely burning her.
Burns covered 85 percent of her body after the tragedy, with the loss of both her feet, some fingers and her right ear.
Three years later, disaster struck again when the five-year-old was hit by a car near her home on Sydney’s Northern Beaches while out with her nanny.
The impact propelled her 60 feet out of her wheelchair, leaving her with a broken jaw, broken collarbone, nine broken ribs, punctured lungs, two broken vertebrae, and brain injuries.
Ms Delezio suffered a heart attack during the ordeal and doctors at Sydney Children’s Hospital in Randwick asked her family – twice – if they wanted to turn off her life support.
Mrs. Delezio again made a remarkable recovery and just a month later she left the hospital and went back to school.
During this time, photos of her smiling constantly despite undergoing over 100 surgeries inspired Australians.
Despite her reputation as “Sophie the girl with no legs,” she says she chooses to see herself as just another person.
“I see myself as Sophie the chatterbox, the socialite, the girl who likes a good burger and enjoys every day as much as possible,” she previously told Now To Love.
The then two-year-old had to fight for her life at the age of two after she got trapped under a burning car, which crashed into her nursery in 2003 (pictured as she leaves the hospital after recovering from the horrific crash in 2004)