Boy paralyzed in Highland Park shooting improving at rehab-focused hospital
‘Excited to return to the classroom and see his friends,’ says a family spokesperson
HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. — The road to recovery continues for Cooper Roberts, paralyzed from the waist down in the July 4 Highland Park parade shooting, with hopes that the boy will soon be able to attend elementary school with his twin brother, Luke.
Now at the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, Cooper is participating in daily physical and occupational therapy after almost a month in pediatric intensive care. Due to swelling, doctors have yet to assess the full extent of his spinal injuries.
Physicians say the boy will remain at the rehabilitation center for another six to 12 weeks. Cooper will then resume in-person classes at Braeside Elementary School in Highland Park on a half-day schedule while continuing long-term outpatient physical therapy.
“This is a huge motivation for Cooper as he is excited to return to the classroom and see his friends,” the statement read.
The family will also seek short-and-long-term housing that is wheelchair accessible for Cooper’s needs.
Following the events of July 4, the family shared that Cooper and Luke are in counseling. Cooper is experiencing symptoms in line with post-traumatic stress disorder, including flashbacks disrupting his sleep.
Cooper’s brother Luke was struck in the legs by shrapnel. The boy’s mother, Keely Roberts, superintendent of Zion Elementary School District 6, suffered two gunshot wounds to her lower extremities.
The update also shared the family’s gratitude for the continued outpouring of prayers and support. A GoFundMe page for Cooper has raised more than $1.7 million.
On Monday, State Senator Julie Morrison announced that she is collecting cards to show support for the boy’s family. Anyone interested can send cards to the following address:
Drop-offs are also welcome.
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