An 11-year-old survivor of the deadly school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, was hospitalized after visiting the memorial of her best friend, who she lost in the tragedy.
According to People, Illiana Treviño, a fourth-grader at Robb Elementary School, went to the memorial of Amerie Jo Garza last Tuesday to drop off a teddy bear and flowers when suddenly her heart rate began to spike in a way she never experienced before. Her mom, Jessica Treviño, immediately rushed her daughter to the hospital, where the doctors told her she was suffering from a heart attack. The mom recalled:
“The hospital told me, ‘Your daughter’s going into cardiac arrest.’ And I said, ‘What?’ Her heart [rate] skyrocketed because she couldn’t take the trauma … all the trauma and pain from it.”
Jessica shared with the publication that Illiana had no previous cardiac issues, noting that “it’s just from a broken heart that we need to work on healing.”
On the day of the attack last month, Illiana had managed to escape unharmed as the gunman Salvador Ramos walked right past her classroom. But according to Amerie’s grandmother Berlinda Arreola, the 10-year-old was shot while trying to call 911 on her cell phone. Awful. And when Illiana eventually learned about her friend’s death after seeing her face on the news as one of the 21 victims, Jessica told People that “she just started screaming and crying.” The momma added:
“I told her, ‘I’m sorry, baby. There’s just some ugly people in the world.’”
No doubt something as horrific as what happened at the school would traumatize anyone.
More than a week after the health scare, Illiana still remains hospitalized in San Antonio. Jessica revealed that doctors believe she has shown signs of post-traumatic stress disorder and acute stress from the horror she endured. At this time, her daughter’s heart is constantly being monitored:
“Her body was basically shutting down completely. It couldn’t take it. Her body was basically reacting to the shock.”
In a GoFundMe created to help cover Illiana’s medical bills, her family also explained that the “medication that she’s been given is not working,” adding:
“The Doctors biggest worry is that she might go into cardiac arrest. We are barely seeing the ripples side effects of what this tragic incident has brought to this community.”
Even more so, Illiana is terrified of going back to school – especially since she will not have Amerie, who would protect her “from bullies and always came to her aid.” Jessica told People:
“Amerie made her feel safe and made her feel okay to go to school. Amerie’s parents did an amazing job raising such a beautiful little love. It’s so sad how things work out in life, because it’s not fair. It really isn’t fair that any of these children lost their lives, but it just really breaks me more because I know how much this child did for my child.”
The mother added that the trauma from the shooting will remain with Illiana for a while, saying:
“She is still dealing with some hard issues. And it’s a long road to recovery. She will have to be constantly monitored. I’m so worried. I pray daily.”
We cannot imagine having to go through something as devastating as what Illiana experienced — and now, having to suffer through this. It just breaks our heart. We will be keeping Illiana and her family in our thoughts through this difficult time and wish the little one gets better soon. You can donate to their GoFundMe HERE.