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A Knox County teacher is fighting for her life after suffering a stroke at school

She's a glue to her family and a best friend for her two daughters. Now, the family waits for a miracle in a hospital.

KNOX COUNTY, Tenn. — The Knox County Schools community knows her for her bright personality and for her endless dedication to her students. Her loved ones also know her as a fighter who's been fighting to recover from a stroke for the last two weeks. 

La Rhonda Forsyth, a teacher with the district for more than 20 years, suffered a stroke on Nov. 3 while she was on bus duty. She's currently intubated and needs care 24 hours per day. 

Her daughter, Katherine Forsyth, described her mom as a force and the life of a party. She says her mom was often seen on the dance floor showing her moves. 

"She is vivacious," her daughter said. "I mean, she does not know a stranger. She walks into a room and lights it up immediately. I mean, her laugh is infectious. Her smile is infectious. I mean, she just is so caring and so sweet."

Forsyth, a mother of two, is a best friend of her daughters. Her daughters call her for their daily chats.

"She's become my friend growing up, I call her every day with the smallest things like telling her something that happened at work or something that happened with my husband," said Katherine.

The family's life suddenly flipped upside down when they got the news their mom was rushed to the hospital. It was an unexpected call for the family as La Rhonda had no medical history and had just gone for her yearly checkup three weeks before her stroke. 

"It's been very hard on us to watch her go through it. We haven't left her bedside and she's gone through a lot in 14 days," said her husband, Tommy Forsyth.

Tommy described La Rhonda as his best friend of 30 years. The pair made memories through their outdoor adventures. 

"She hasn't killed me so that's a plus," Tommy said. "We love spending time with each other. She's a wonderful wife. And it's just fun."

He describes her as the glue to the family. 

"She typically keeps us grounded," he said.

Pouring messages of support came in from the Knox County Schools community as the family experiences one of their toughest moments. 

Forsyth has had a large involvement with the district. She has taught at Farragut Intermediate, Northwest Middle, Sequoia Intermediate, and now is at Ball Camp. 

"So many people in Knox County love her, care about her and want to her to know that we all love her and want her to get better as soon as possible," said Helen Agee, who taught with Forsyth for a time. 

Agee recounts the several times when Forsyth would spend her short lunchtime with students. She described her as selfless. 

"Her students are super, super important to her. She sees them all as individuals, she loves them all as individuals," Agee said. "She truly is the kind of teacher that I feel like it was a calling."

Friends of the family have started a GoFundMe page to help with the high medical bills. If you want to help in her recovery you can visit their page at Prayers and Support for La Rhonda Forsyth

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