A Parkland student who was on campus during last year’s deadly shooting and was recently diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder has taken her own life. She was 19.
Sydney Aiello’s mother told CBS Miami her daughter often felt sad recently, but never asked for help. The recent Marjory Stoneman Douglas graduate also struggled to take college classes because she feared being in a classroom.
The teen lost close friend Meadow Pollack in the Feb. 14, 2018, massacre that killed 17, and Aiello’s mom also told the outlet that Sydney suffered from survivor’s guilt.
Pollack’s brother, Hunter Pollack, confirmed Sydney’s death on Twitter Friday, noting that “It was devastating to bury another beautiful young person in Parkland today. Our community is going through tragedy again. Please keep the Aiello Family in your prayers. Rest in peace, Sydney. Please take care of my sister.”
A GoFundMe page set up to help the family with funeral expenses says Aiello died last Sunday. A spokesperson for the Broward County Medical Examiner’s Office told NBC News she died of a gunshot wound to the head.
“Sydney spent 19 years writing her story as a beloved daughter, sister and friend to many. She lit up every room she entered. She filled her days cheerleading, doing yoga and brightening up the days of others. Sydney aspired to work in the medical field helping others in need,” according to a statement on the GoFundMe page set up by family friends Brett and Blair Israel. As of Saturday afternoon the page has raised more than $64,000 — far exceeding the $20,000 goal.
Jody Weiner, a yoga teacher who worked with Aiello, told the Miami Herald that “When [Sydney] came in, I could see PTSD from, ‘Hello,’ ” adding, “I didn’t get to spend enough time with her.”
If you or someone you know may be contemplating suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text HOME to 741741 to reach the Crisis Text Line. In emergencies, call 911, or seek care from a local hospital or mental health provider.