Texas shooting: Survivor goes into ‘cardiac arrest’ while visiting memorial

Illiana Trevino (left) and Amerie Jo Garza (right) were best friends

Illiana Trevino (left) and Amerie Jo Garza (right) were best friends (Images: Jessica Luna/Facebook; Getty)

An 11-year-old girl who survived the shooting at a Texas school has been hospitalized after nearly suffering a heart attack while visiting a memorial for her best friend, who was one of 21 people who died massacres were killed.

Illiana Treviño lost her best friend, Amerie Jo Garza, during last month’s mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.

“I think it’s just a broken heart that we have to work on healing,” Iliana’s mother, Jessica, told People magazine.

Illiana’s heart rate soared last week as she laid flowers and a teddy bear at the memorial for Amerie, her best friend, who would protect her from bullying.

Her mother took the 11-year-old to the hospital, where doctors told her that Illiana was close to having a heart attack. The young girl, who previously had no medical problems, has since remained in the hospital.

“Everything just broke her in half, and she’s afraid of being bullied again,” her mother told the magazine.

While Illiana survived the massacre that killed 19 of her classmates and her two teachers, Amerie was fatally shot trying to call 911, her grandmother Berlinda Arreola said.

When the fourth grader saw her best friend’s face on the news and confirmed her death, “she just started screaming and crying,” according to her mother.

“I told her, ‘I’m sorry, baby. There are only a few ugly people in the world.”

Last Tuesday, mother and daughter visited Amerie’s memorial in downtown Uvalde. Afterwards, however, Illiana pointed out to her mother that she wasn’t feeling well and had never felt the way she had before.

Her mother then rushed her to the hospital, where doctors told her that Illiana was going into cardiac arrest.

“Her heart rate skyrocketed because she couldn’t take the trauma. . . all the trauma and pain from it,” her mother said.

Illiana was later transferred to a San Antonio hospital, where she remains over a week later. According to her mother, doctors have said she is showing signs of post-traumatic stress disorder and acute distress from the trauma she has suffered.

The fourth grader remains in the hospital where her heart is being monitored. She’s also reluctant to return to school, partly because her friend won’t be there to protect her from the bullies.

“Amerie made her feel safe and made her feel good about going to school,” her mother said.

Illiana’s mother added: “Amerie’s parents did a great job raising such a beautiful little love. It’s so sad how things turn out in life because it’s not fair. It really isn’t fair that one of those kids lost their life, but it just breaks me even more knowing how much that kid did for my kid.

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Justin Scacco

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