Just a year over the tragic school shooting at in Parkland, Florida, a Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student who escaped the gunfire but lived with immense survivor’s guilt has taken her life.
On March 17, 19-year-old Sydney Aiello died by suicide, her mother, Cara, told CBS Miami. Those close to her remember her fondly as a joyful person who loved yoga and aspired to work in the medical field to aide those in need. But since the shooting that left 17 of her classmates dead, Sydney struggled with survivor’s guilt and was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, according to her mother; she also feared being in her college classrooms, which made academic success difficult.
Following news of her death, a GoFundMe page was set up in Sydney’s honor, mourning the untimely loss of a “beloved daughter, sister and friend to many.” (The funds will be donated directly to her family to help pay for funeral expenses, per the website. At time of publication, it has nearly reached its $20,000 goal.)
“It was a privilege to have you in our lives,” reads the GoFundMe page. “Sydney, we will miss you and always love you.
Some members of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School community have also expressed their sorrow over Sydney’s death, such as Ryan Petty, whose daughter died in the shooting.
“It breaks my heart that we’ve lost yet another student from Stoneman Douglas,” Petty told CBS Miami. “My advice to parents is to ask questions, don’t wait.”
The brother to Meadow Pollack, a close friend of Aiello’s who died in the shooting, mourned her death on Twitter.
“Beautiful Sydney with such a bright future was taken from us way too soon,” Hunter Pollack wrote. “Any help for the family to cover funeral expenses would be appreciated.”
In the U.S., the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255.