Parkland survivor dies by suicide; her mother hopes her daughter’s story can help save others
19-year-old Sydney Aiello was a young woman who a Marjory Stoneman Douglas teacher described as a joy to have in class.
Aiello was close friends with Parkland shooting victim Meadow Pollack. Aiello’s mother said that Sydney felt survivor’s guilt and was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder after being on campus the day of the shooting last year.
Aiello’s mom said Sydney struggled to attend college classes because she was afraid of being in a classroom and was sad but never asked for help before she killed herself.
Her mom hopes Sydney’s story can help save others.
“It breaks my heart that we’ve lost yet another student from Stoneman Douglas,” said Ryan Petty.
Petty’s daughter Alaina died in the shooting. He’s focused a lot of effort on suicide prevention since the Parkland tragedy, worried that those traumatized might take their own lives.
Petty says people need to ask questions to someone who might be considering suicide like — have you thought of killing yourself? And have you had any intention of acting on those thoughts?
“My advice to parents is to ask questions, don’t be afraid. Don’t wait,” Petty said.
Cindy Arenberg Seltzer is president and CEO of the Children’s Services Council of Broward County. She said there are lots of community resources like the 211 hotline and a new program called Eagles’ Haven opening next month in Coral Springs
Seltzer said the Parkland tragedy proved that we all need to work to get over the stigma associated with mental health problems and an inability to ask for help when we’re struggling.
She said it’s important for parents to look for suicide warning signs like kids who hurt themselves or stop taking part in important activities.
“Parents have to be a little more aggressive when they see those signs and not just wait for the child to ask for help but maybe to take them to those resources,” Arenberg Seltzer said.
Sydney Aiello loved yoga and her mom said she wanted to dedicate her life towards helping others. Now you can help her family by donating money to a gofundme account set up in Sydney’s memory.
Parkland school shooting survivor Sydney Aiello takes own life
PARKLAND, Fla. – Sydney Aiello, a 19-year-old survivor of the 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, has taken her own life.
Sydney Aiello was a recent graduate of Stoneman Douglas High School. Sydney Aiello’s mother, Cara Aiello, confirmed to local media Friday that her daughter died last weekend.
She was close friends with Parkland shooting victim Meadow Pollack.
Sydney Aiello struggled with survivor’s guilt and was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder after being on campus the day of the shooting, Cara Aiello told CBSMiami. Cara Aiello said her daughter was enrolled in classes, but struggled to attend because she was afraid to be in a classroom.
Cara Aiello said she hopes her daughter’s story can save others. Sydney Aiello loved yoga and wanted to help others, her mother said. A former teacher described Sydney Aiello as a joy to have in class, CNN Newsource reported.
Ryan Petty, who lost his daughter, Alaina Petty, in the shooting has focused efforts on suicide prevention in the past year.
“It breaks my heart that we’ve lost yet another student from Stoneman Douglas,” Petty said. “My advice to parents is to ask questions, don’t wait.”
A friend of Sydney Aiello’s has started a GoFundMe page to raise money for the Aiello family.
“Sydney spent 19 years writing her story as a beloved daughter, sister and friend to many,” the GoFundMe page reads. “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. On March 17th, 2019 Sydney became the guardian angel to many. It was a privilege to have you in our lives. Sydney, we will miss you and always love you. May you find peace in His arms.”