As a young, single mom who graduated from high school in June, Jessica Forsyth knows the time will come when she will have to tell her 2-year-old daughter, Gabriella, what happened to daddy.
She plans to break the news in stages.
"When she's older and she's like, 'Mommy, everyone else has ... every one of my friends has daddies, where's my daddy?' I'm gonna tell her that your daddy was sick and he's in heaven now," Forsyth said from her hometown, Midland, Mich.
"And then when she's old enough to actually understand, then I'll tell her the whole story."
The whole story began two years ago, when Forsyth, then 17, nearly died after her boyfriend, 17-year-old David Turner, shot her multiple times at H.H. Dow High School in Midland, where Forsyth was a student.
Police responding to the scene found Forsyth barely conscious and Turner dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
At the time Forsyth was four months pregnant with Turner's baby. She didn't know. She wouldn't find out until surgeons treating her gunshot wounds told her.
Just as shocking was the doctors' report of how Forsyth had escaped death. As a girl, she had broken her collarbone twice. The second time, doctors implanted a 6-inch titanium plate to hold the bone together.
That plate stopped what might have been a lethal bullet.
Police Officer Chad Schieber was the first to respond to the shooting at Dow High on March 7, 2007. Forsyth had been shot at close range. Her mother, Rhonda Poston, who witnessed the shooting from her car, held Forsyth's body, trying to simultaneously stop the blood and soothe her daughter.
Poston held her hand over the smoke that was coming out of Forsyth's back, where a bullet had punctured her skin. Forsyth repeatedly screamed to her mom, "I don't want to die. I don't want to die."
The titanium plate that saved Forsyth was the result of a stream of bad luck. When she was 8 years old, Forsyth broke her collarbone when her brother pushed her off a merry-go-round. Five years later, when she was 14 years old, she fell off her bike and broke her collarbone again. This time, the bone split in half.
Her injury was so severe that doctors used a titanium plate about the length of a pencil to heal the fracture. Forsyth felt anything but lucky, and for years she tried to hide the scar on her collarbone.
The scar didn't keep Turner from falling in love with her. Their relationship started off happily, but when he started having abrupt mood changes, Forsyth said, it began to sour.
"We would break up and then he would ask me back out," she said. "And he would be sweet and I would say, 'Yeah.' And then we would break up again and he would do it again."
Eventually, Forsyth ended the relationship. That March day she had agreed to meet Turner to retrieve a sentimental keepsake -- a small ladybug clock -- given to her by her father. Poston drove Forsyth to her school to meet Turner, and the meeting turned ugly almost immediately.
According to Forsyth, Turner asked her, "Why did you break up with me?" She said Turner then pulled his backpack off his shoulder and started going through it.
Poston, watching from the car, said she could sense that something bad was about to happen, and she was right. Instead of producing the clock Forsyth was expecting, Turned pulled out a gun.