Family's Speak Out On Their College Student Committing

Family's Speak Out On Their College Student Committing Suicide

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They were young, bright, and by all appearances, looking forward to a life filled with promise.

But then something happened.

Paige Aiello's father, Chris Aiello, says, "If you talk about a child that almost had no weaknesses, she was organized. She was intelligent. She was kind."

He declares, "I'm the dad of Paige Aiello, who unfortunately took her life last year."

And what a life it was.

The young student, from Hillsborough, New Jersey had accomplished a lot in her 22 years.

She was a senior at the College of New Jersey, the captain of the women's tennis team.

A young woman who had been recently accepted to nine different law schools.

"With Paige, there was nothing that we were able to see that was any problem whatsoever."

And yet, last March, Paiges' parents say they started noticing a change.

While working as a teaching assistant, Paige started telling her dad, she was struggling to connect with her students.

"She had taken this course she was teaching before. Of course she got an 'A' or an ""A+," and it seemed bewildering. I was on the phone with her an hour and a half at night, going over things, recalls Chris.

Friends and teammates noticed she wasn't herself, and seemed to be getting confused. Realizing there was something more going on, the Aiellos' brought their daughter home.

"We immediately bought her to the psychologist and psychiatrist. And in the three and half weeks that we had, we thought we were working through it."

Her parents say the doctor's didn't notice anything out of the ordinary even though Paige was losing weight and starting to forget things.

Paige's mother, Robin, remembers, "Paige ate for the first time. Two slices of pizza and sang happy birthday to herself. And two days later, she was gone."

April 9th, Paige was reported missing. 

Family and friends searched for her. They set up a hotline, a Facebook page, and even passed out flyers.

After a month long search, Paige's body was found in the Hudson River. She's believed to have jumped to her death from the George Washington Bridge.

"What Robin and I had to go through, I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy," says Chris.

Looking back, the Aiello's wonder if there were signs they missed, or overlooked?

Was the stress of college, being a good student, good leader, model child just too much?

Dr. Kimberly chestnut is Director of Temple University's Wellness Resource Center. She spends her days helping students.

She says there are subtle signs people can watch for.

She explains, "facts" is kind of a nice guide in referring to them. It's about feelings.  This daughter or any child starts to say, I'm not feeling myself anymore. If their actions start looking different, sleep patterns change. They're with a different community. Then there is a change aspect. If the child starts to gain or lose weight.  Last is the threats, saying things like, I don't know if I can do this anymore. And then, "s" is situations. Where they are putting themselves?"

Dr. Chestnut says if you notice any of these signs  do something immediately and  it's never a bad time to talk about suicide prevention.

As the AIellos' approach the one year anniversary of Paige's death, they hold on to the woman she had become.

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