South Jersey woman hospitalized after capturing marriage proposal

"I didn't realize I was on the end of the grass," said Betty Rifici.

Alicia Vitarelli Image
Thursday, July 29, 2021
NJ woman hospitalized after capturing marriage proposal
Betty Rifici will be reunited with the newly engaged couple.

WEST DEPTFORD, New Jersey (WPVI) -- A marriage proposal inspired a South Jersey woman to quickly pull out her camera and capture the magic unfolding.

Lost in the moment, the 81-year-old photographer was trying to snap the perfect shot when she lost her footing and fell. She ended up in the hospital.

Betty Rifici's good deed ended in injury.

"I thought it was really cute so I started to take pictures. I didn't realize I was on the end of the grass and I fell backwards about two and a half feet down. I landed on my right foot and then I rolled."

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This all happened Sunday at the Riverwinds Restaurant along the Delaware River in West Deptford, New Jersey.

Rifici says right after the woman said "yes," the couple rushed over to help her, carrying her to safety and calling for help.

Rifici underwent a rough surgery Wednesday to repair her foot, and the family says she's doing well.

"She's a wonderful woman and we are grateful for someone to help her and be so kind to her," says Sharon Zola, Rifici's daughter. "She's our family's heart, she means so much to us."

Rifici was desperately looking for the couple to thank them.

"I was in so much pain, I didn't get their names," she says. "I'd like to find out who they are so I could thank them and get together with them and give them the pictures."

The couple, identified as Lisa and Kathryn, reached out to Action News after our story aired Wednesday night. Rifici will be reunited them on Thursday. Stay tuned!