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FORT COLLINS, Colo. (KDVR) — Eilish Poe is exactly the kind of person you want in charge of your kid’s education. Her friends describe her as a ray of sunshine, and a combination between Mary Poppins and Zooey Deschanel.

“She’s just sort of whimsical, and finds everything exciting and new,” May Booth said. “Eilish is the kind of person that makes everyone around her happy and joyful.”

But in early November, the third grade teacher’s story took a turn. Police responded to a report of a stabbing, finding her wounded in her home. 

She was stabbed by an ex-partner, Jonathan Crossley, who was later found dead in Lory State Park outside of the city. The coroner ruled the cause of death as a suicide.

“You don’t expect it to happen to someone like Eilish, like a ray of sunshine, and not sort of in that brutal way either,” Booth said. “She’s doing better. She had surgery on Thursday. She’s recovering and recovery is hard. She’s in a lot of pain, but her spirits are high.”

So far hundreds of people in the community, including her fellow teachers, and relatives of her students, have donated to a GoFundMe to help pay her medical bills.

“Even in the face of horrible circumstances, Eilish is the person that will look at the bright side and put a smile on her face, even though she has every reason to be upset and sad,” Booth said. “Interpersonal violence is no one’s fault. The best thing we can do for survivors is believe them when they’re sharing their stories.”