Parkland Shooting Survivor Takes Her Own Life. Mom Says She Struggled With PTSD and ‘Survivor’s Guilt’

Sydney Aiello was attending class at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on February 14, 2018, when a gunman opened fire.

The teen survived the mass shooting but lost 17 of her classmates, including one of her good friends, Meadow Pollack, CBS News reports.

But on Sunday, Aiello took her own life at the age of 19, her mother confirmed to the outlet.

Cara Aiello said her daughter was recently diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). She also had survivor’s guilt after making it through the mass shooting.

The teen recently graduated high school and started attending college classes, but her mother said that she had a hard time going, out of fear of being in school buildings.

A GoFundMe for Aiello describes her as a kind girl. It reads:

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.

Aiello’s mother said that her daughter didn’t ask for help before committing suicide. She hopes her story will help raise awareness.

Ryan Petty, a father who lost his own daughter in the Parkland shooting, said told CBS:

“It breaks my heart that we’ve lost yet another student from Stoneman Douglas. My advice to parents is to ask questions, don’t wait.”

He added:

“Some of the questions that need to be asked are – do you wish you were dead and not wake up? Second question — have you had thoughts of killing youself?”

According to the Mayo Clinic, signs of PTSD include emotional distress, reliving of the traumatic event, nightmares, and unwanted memories. Seek medical help if you or a loved one have symptoms for more than a month.

If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, you can call The National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

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