A recent graduate of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School who survived the Parkland school shooting has died by suicide, the student’s mother told CBS Miami.
Sydney Aiello was 19 when she died Sunday, according to a GoFundMe page set up in her honor.
“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,” the campaign says.
NBC News reported that Aiello died from a gunshot wound to the head, according to the Broward County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Aiello was friends with Meadow Pollack, one of the 17 people killed at the Parkland shooting on Feb. 14, 2018, CBS Miami reports. Cara Aiello — Sydney’s mother — told the station that her daughter was at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that day, but was not in the building where the massacre occurred.
Sydney Aiello had been recently diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and struggled with a fear of classroom settings, hindering her ability to attend college classes, Cara Aiello told the station.
Pollack’s father, Andrew Pollack, told the Miami Herald that his “heart goes out to [Aiello’s] poor, poor parents.”
“It’s terrible what happened. Meadow and Sydney were friends for a long, long time,” he said. “Killing yourself is not the answer.”
The GoFundMe page set up in Aiello’s honor had raised over $40,000 by Friday afternoon, more than double the fundraising effort’s goal. The money “will be given directly to the Aiello family to honor their daughter,” the page says.
If you or someone you know may be struggling with suicidal thoughts, you can call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) any time of day or night or chat online.