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She survived Parkland shooting, but not her ‘survivor’s guilt,’ parents say

Sydney Aiello was a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. She was 19.
Sydney Aiello [GOFUNDME]
Published Mar. 22
Updated Mar. 22

Sydney Aiello, a 19-year-old Parkland shooting survivor, killed herself Sunday, according to family and friends.

The news made its way across social media Friday after Aiello’s parents told Miami Herald news partner CBS4 that her daughter took her own life because of “survivor’s guilt” and that she had recently been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Aiello’s funeral took place Friday, her parents said. Their daughter was a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School who was on campus Feb. 14, 2018, the day a gunman killed 17 people.

One of those victims was her close friend Meadow Pollack.

Meadow’s father, Andrew Pollack, told the Herald that his “heart goes out to those poor, poor parents.”

“It’s terrible what happened. Meadow and Sydney were friends for a long, long time,” Pollack said, pivoting his comments to students. “Killing yourself is not the answer.”

Meadow Pollack (left) pictured with Sydney Aiello (right). [Courtesy of Andrew Pollack]

He continued: “If anyone feels like that they have no one that can understand their pain, if there’s any student out there that’s having a hard time, please reach out to me on Twitter. I understand you. You aren’t alone.”

In a GoFundMe fundraiser, Aiello was described as someone who “filled her days cheerleading, doing yoga, and brightening up the days of others.”

“Sydney spent 19 years writing her story as a beloved daughter, sister and friend to many,” her family wrote. “She lit up every room she entered. Sydney aspired to work in the medical field helping others in need.”

-- This story was written by Monique O. Madan

If you are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741

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