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Florida school shooting survivor takes own life after struggling with 'survivors' guilt'

Community members attend the vigil in remembrance of the victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida; Source: EPA

When a fellow student opened fire at Parkland school in Florida, Sydney Aiello survived - but 14 students and three staff members were killed.

A teenager who survived the Parkland school shooting in Florida has died after struggling with survivors' guilt, local media reported Friday.

Sydney Aiello, 19, was a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas last February 14 when a former student opened fire with a semiautomatic weapon, killing 14 students and three staff members.

Students hold their hands in the air as they are evacuated by police from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., on Feb. 14, 2018, after a shooter opened fire on the campus.
Students hold their hands in the air as they are evacuated by police from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Among the dead were two of Aiello's best friends, Meadow Pollack and Joaquin Oliver.

Her parents told local news CBS4 that she had been treated for PTSD, and suffered from survivor's guilt, when a victim fixates on why they were the one to live, not someone else.

Her mother, Cara, told CBS Miami that Aiello had had a difficult time with her college classes "because classrooms now scared her."

Aiello graduated from high school in July. She was a yoga enthusiast, and took part in the national student movement seeking legal changes on gun control policy.

March for Lives rally.
eople fill Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington during the "March for Our Lives" rally in support of gun control on March 24, 2018.

Stoneman Douglas students became crusaders against gun violence under the banner "March for Our Lives," lobbying for tougher gun control laws and organizing protests and rallies.

Meadow's father, Andrew Pollack, told the Miami Herald that his "heart goes out to those poor, poor parents. 

"It's terrible what happened. Meadow and Sydney were friends for a long, long time," Pollack said. 

If you or anyone you know needs help, Lifeline is available 24 hours a day on 13 11 14, or Beyond Blue on  1300 224 636.

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