As Cooper Roberts spends his 43rd day away from home, slowly recovering from being shot by a gunman who opened fire on spectators at the 4th of July parade in Highland Park, leaving the 8-year-old boy paralyzed, his family said the harsh reality of everything he’s been through is finally settling in.
The young boy looks down a tough road and is “beginning to recognize the severity of his limitations” through his rigorous physical and occupational therapy programs and ongoing medical challenges.
“This It is very difficult to convince Cooper that he will be happy again,” his family wrote in a statement released by their spokesperson. “Of course, we are beyond grateful for his survival, and we know that other n haven’t been so lucky, but we want people to know his way/our way will be a very long and hard way. He is an 8-year-old boy who feels hopeless, sad and angry as the reality of his life sets in. Yet every kindness makes him smile. We are very grateful for the gift, cards, prayers and donations that will help us through this very dark time.”
Cooper continues to heal from internal damage, leaving him on a constant IV drip and suffering from stomach pain as “his body relearns to process mostly liquid foods”. He has been given the green light to eat solid food, but is unable to fully enjoy it due to a liquid diet fed through a feeding tube.
COVID protocols left the young boy only able to see his entire family once a week for a short time, his family said.
“He She desperately misses her twin brother, Luke,” reads their statement. Will I do at recess? even though it will be several weeks before she returns to school.“
In their previous update, Cooper’s family celebrated that the young boy had started physical therapy and planned to return to third grade in the fall.
Going to school is “a huge motivation” for Cooper, according to his family, as they said he was excited to see his friends.
At the time, the family said Cooper will likely attend school for half the day and participate in long-term outpatient therapy for the other part of the day.
Still, Cooper was expected to stay in inpatient rehabilitation wards for six to 12 weeks.
Both Cooper and Luke attend private mental health services to support them in their emotional and physiological healing, the family said.
More than $1.7 million has been raised for Cooper’s recovery through a GoFundMe page, according to the family.
A card reader initiative has also been launched for supporters to send recovery messages to the boy.
Senator Julie Morrison, who is running for office this fall, is leading the card collection to show her support for Cooper and his family, she said.
Cards can be mailed or dropped off at 43 Highwood Ave. at Highwood.