Thursday, April 19, 2007
Hilary Strollo: Brother is grateful for outpouring of prayers over wounded sister
- Age: 19
- Class: Sophomore
- Major: Biological sciences
- Hometown: Gibsonia, Pa.
- High school: Pine-Richland High School
- Parents: Patrick and Diane Strollo
- Blacksburg residence: Lee Hall
The first indication that Virginia Tech student Hilary Strollo had been shot Monday at Norris Hall came from one of her fellow patients at Montgomery Regional Hospital.
Strollo's older brother, Patrick, had been at the hospital one night earlier to see a friend who was recovering from a heart attack. The next day, Patrick Strollo's friend overheard a conversation concerning an incoming patient who was spelling out her last name, S-T-R-O-L-L-O.
"As soon as he heard that, he pulled off all the heart monitors and got his cellphone and gave me a call and let me know," Patrick Strollo said Thursday on "The Oprah Winfrey Show." "I was hysterical. At that point, I knew something bad had happened because I found out about the news and had been text-messaging my sister."
In short order, the rest of the family was en route from the Pittsburgh suburb of Gibsonia, Pa.
Both Strollo parents are doctors at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, where father Patrick John Strollo Jr. is in the division of pulmonary, allergy and critical care medicine, and mother Diane is in the department of radiology.
Three Strollo children have attended suburban Pine-Richland High School, where younger daughter Sara is a junior.
Hilary Strollo is a 2005 honors graduate of Pine-Richland, where she played lacrosse for four years and soccer for three.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette did an interview Tuesday with one of Hilary Strollo's friends and fellow sophomores, Emma Schlosser, who said Strollo was in a Norris Hall French class when Cho Seung-Hui commenced shooting.
Schlosser said her impression was that Strollo and others had tried in vain to barricade the door.
Patrick Strollo III was among the first relatives of a shooting victim to give interviews with the national media and let it be known Tuesday morning that, while his sister's condition was listed as critical, she is progressing.
"At this point, we're just so grateful for my sister and everyone's prayers that they've sent out for her," he said Thursday. "She wouldn't have been able to survive without them. We also send out our deepest condolences to all those who were injured.
"I spent all Monday with her in the ICU, and I've been with her every other chance I've got. She's talking about it [the shooting] a little bit but we're having happy thoughts right now. We're trying to get her just to focus on herself and get back to health before we really start to reflect on the incident."
As to Hilary Strollo's return to Tech, her brother said, "Right now, it's hard to say. We don't know how much physical therapy she'll need. We're just focusing on getting her well enough to get her home."
-- Doug Doughty