8-year-old boy paralyzed with gunshot wound after Highland Park shooting – NBC Chicago
An 8-year-old boy who attended Monday’s 4th of July parade in Highland Park with his mother, father and twin brother is paralyzed from the waist down after a gunman allegedly fired more than 70 bullets into the crowd , said a spokesperson for the family. Thursday.
“Cooper Roberts was shot in the chest and suffered serious injuries, including a severed spinal cord,” family friend Anthony Loizzi said at a press conference.
The family later confirmed on their fundraising page that doctors determined Cooper was paralyzed from the waist down.
After undergoing multiple surgeries, Cooper had previously been sedated and on a ventilator, in critical but stable condition. However, in an update on Friday, the family said his condition has since improved.
“Cooper’s medical status has changed to ‘serious’ which is a very positive development. He is conscious for the first time and has been taken off the ventilator, but is in significant pain,” the update read.
“At this time, doctors do not believe he suffered any brain damage or cognitive impact from the shooting,” the update continues.
According to the family, Cooper is alert and demands to see his twin brother Luke and his dog George.
Cooper was airlifted from the parade and taken to an area hospital, where he underwent several surgeries, including one Wednesday night in which “doctors were able to close his stomach,” Loizzi said.
Cooper’s mother, Zion Elementary School District 6 Superintendent Dr. Keely Roberts, and twin brother Luke were also shot and injured during the parade.
Dr. Roberts was punched in the foot and leg, had multiple surgeries and was released from the hospital at her request so she could be by Cooper’s side, Loizzi said.
“She told her doctors and nurses that they either had to let her go or she went out on her own because she needed to be with their son,” Loizzi said.
Luke was injured by shrapnel and released from hospital.
Over $700,000 has been raised for Cooper to help pay for medical bills and therapy.
“The little guy is fighting as hard as he can,” his family said. “We hope he will be well, but we know his medical bills will be significant, as will the therapy that will follow. Please pray that Cooper recovers as well as possible.”
“It was a very emotional time for everyone in their circle,” Loizzi said. “And, you know, if you know Keely, she’s just a fighter. Seems like Cooper has that part of her. He fights as hard as he can.”
Seven people were killed and dozens more injured in the massacre at the Highland Park parade. The alleged shooter has been charged with seven counts of first-degree murder and is currently being held without bond, according to Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart.