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Who Is Sydney Aiello? New Details About The Parkland Shooting Survivor Who Died By Suicide

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Who Is Sydney Aiello? New Details About The Parkland Shooting Survivor Who Died By Suicide

On February 14th of 2018, the U.S. saw yet another mass school shooting, this time claiming the lives of 17 students and staff members, and injuring many others. The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting is the deadliest high school shooting in U.S. history, and eventually led to students forming the March For Our Lives demonstration. But there has also been further tragedy following these unspeakable events.

After the first anniversary of the shooting, this month, two former students committed suicide, one of which was 19-year-old Sydney Aiello, and the other, a 16-year-old unnamed minor. Jeremy Richman, a father of one of the children killed in the Sandy Hook massacre, also committed suicide this week, drawing attention to surivor’s guilt, PTSD, and the toll such a tragedy can have on a person.

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But who is Sydney Aiello?

1. She was on campus during the shooting.

On the day of the shooting, Aiello was on campus, though she wasn’t in the building where the shooting occurred. At the time she was a senior and a cheerleader, and graduated just months later.

2. She was close to one of the victims.


A post shared by  (@ilovemeadowpollack) on Mar 22, 2019 at 5:54pm PDT

Aiello was close to Meadow Pollack, a young woman who was described as “lovely... full of energy.” She was 18 and was accepted to Lynn University in Boca Raton at the time. Pollack’s family described Aiello as “someone dear to Meadow.”

3. She was suffering from survivor’s guilt.

Aiello’s parents say their daughter was suffering from survivor’s guilt, which, according to Dr. Edward Silberman, a psychiatrist at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, develops when someone begins to think, “It could have happened to me and didn’t.”

“People have an easier time blaming themselves and therefore maintaining an illusion of controllability than accepting that there was absolutely nothing that they could do. Because if there’s nothing you can do, then what’s to prevent another tragedy, another bad outcome from happening again? Then people feel as though life is essentially walking through a minefield and something terrible could happen at any time. They feel pessimism about how the world works and what the future will be like,” Silberman said.

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4. She was also suffering from PTSD.


A post shared by (@warriorsinheaven) on Mar 26, 2019 at 2:47am PDT

Aiello’s mother, Cara, said that she had recently been diagnosed with PTSD, but was seeking treatment. She also said her daughter was struggling to attend her college classes because she was scared of being in a classroom and was sad quite frequently. However, she never asked for help before she died.

5. There’s been an outpouring of support.

Ryan Petty, the father of Alaina Petty, who was also killed in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting, has called on the community to call attention to the effects of surviving trauma.

“This is something we recognized was a possibility early on and tried to drive awareness [about] in the MSD community. I’m hoping now that as a community, we recognize that the threat is very real,” he said in an interview on CNN.

According to Petty, after Alaina’s death, they sought help through therapy. “You know we’re not there yet. We have good days and we have bad days. But I can just tell everyone how important it is to seek help. And for those we’re concerned about, you know, friends, families, neighbors, let’s help them get the help that they need.”

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Samantha Maffucci is an editor for YourTango who focuses on writing trending news and entertainment pieces. In her free time, you can find her obsessing about cats, wine, and all things Vanderpump Rules.