Boy Paralyzed in Parade Shooting Is 'Hopeless'

Family offers update on Cooper Roberts
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 17, 2022 1:01 AM CDT
8-Year-Old Paralyzed in Highland Park Shooting 'Hopeless,' in 'Constant Pain'
This photo provided by the Roberts family shows Cooper Roberts who along with his twin brother and parents attended the July 4, 2022, parade in Highland Park, Ill.   (The Roberts Family via AP, File)

(Newser) – The 8-year-old boy whose spine was severed in the Highland Park mass shooting at a July 4 parade, paralyzing him from the waist down, "feels hopeless, sad and angry as the reality of his life is setting in," according to the latest update shared on the verified GoFundMe campaign for Cooper Roberts' family. The boy, whose mother was also shot, was active and loved sports prior to the shooting. He's eager to join his twin brother in third grade, though that won't happen for "many weeks," the update reads. Cooper misses his family, his dog, and his home "desperately," especially since he can only see his family once a week for a brief period due to COVID protocols at his rehab facility. "It is very hard to convince Cooper that he will be happy again," says the update.

"Cooper is in constant pain. It is agonizing to see," the update reads. "He still has internal damage—wounds that are slow to heal. He is on a constant IV drip of antibiotics to ward off infection, has swelling that obscures the full internal picture, and suffers stomach pain as his body relearns to process mainly liquid food. He remains on heavy painkillers from which he is being weaned this week." He's finally starting to eat solid food again, but can only manage a bit or two so far. "He is starting to recognize the severity of his limitations as he participates in daily rigorous physical and occupational therapy maneuvering around two ports, a PICC line and three tubes coming out of his body." (Read more Highland Park mass shooting stories.)

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