Dammun & Yvonne Pierce

Following the Signposts of

He was a resident, she was a nurse, and their friendship blossomed between the sterile walls of a Washington D.C. hospital. "I took a business trip to Hawaii and she asked if she could come along for fun," said Dr. Dammun Pierce, who is now an OB/GYN practitioner at the Hilton Head Regional Medical Center. "It turned out to be one of those defining moments when you decide you just don't want to be without that person."

Here he yields the floor to Yvonne, his wife of a year-and-a-half, so that she can tell her favorite story yet again: how they got engaged. "He comes home from basketball and says, do you want to go get sandwiches at this deli in Georgetown?" she begins. It was a cold, dreary day and she was a little surprised when he took her to a park near the home where her mother grew up. He pulled a picnic basket out of the trunk, but as they were eating, it started to rain again, so they got back in the car and drove away. They passed the house where Yvonne's grandfather had lived, and when she saw a man outside posting a historic site plaque, she asked Dammun to stop. They got out and chatted with the man-whose name happened to be Love-then toured the home and back yard, where Yvonne recognized the azalea bushes and big rock that she had played on in her youth. Suddenly, Dammun said he had to run to the car, and when he came back he was holding a beautifully wrapped box; inside, of course, was a ring.

"It seems like at that point, the sky just cleared," said Yvonne, who literally jumped for joy. "I was looking up at the skies saying, thank you Granddad!"

Mr. Love opened a bottle of champagne, and soon they were at Yvonne's mother's house celebrating the engagement with family. "My mom turns to Dammun and says, 'Well, where did you propose?'" recalls Yvonne. "When he told her, she started crying and I was like, 'Mom, why are you crying?' She said, 'That's where your father proposed to me.'"

To this day, Dammun refuses to divulge how much of this was premeditated and how much was pure serendipity. A man must have his secrets, he insists, revealing only that, "I definitely wanted it to be special. There were a lot of things that were planned, and a lot of things that were divine intervention."

A few months after their wedding, Dammun received a call from a man-also named Love-who invited him to join his medical practice on Hilton Head. At the time, neither Dammun nor Yvonne had heard of the island; but following the unmistakable signpost of Love, they came here in September of 2008. Dr. Love is now Dammun's partner. Yvonne, meanwhile, works at the Breast Health Center, saying it brings her joy to help women throughout the region who have been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Despite the notoriously hectic pace of the medical profession, the two find plenty of ways to keep romance alive, including frequent getaways, even if it's just to Savannah or Charlotte. "It's important to block off time in our schedules to be together and have fun," said Dammun. "People can get bogged down in their routines, so sometimes you have to shake it up a little bit."

Up Close:

Hometown: Philadelphia
Hobbies: basketball, movies, outdoor activities
Words to live by:  "Success is when you get what you want. Happiness is when you like what you got."

Hometown: Washington D.C.
Hobbies: cooking, reading, ballet, cycling
Inspiration: her mom; "She's the rock of our family."