Cooper Roberts, 8, Highland Park parade shooting victim, ‘continues to fight as hard as he can’
“Please keep sending love and prayers to my son as he continues to fight as hard as he can,” Cooper’s mother, Keely Roberts, said Friday. “The family is very grateful for the outpouring of support and well wishes.”
His spinal cord severed by the Highland Park Fourth of July parade gunman’s bullets, Cooper Roberts, 8, “continues to fight as hard as he can” but remains in critical condition after his latest surgery.
“His situation post recent surgery remains very critical,” the Roberts family said in a written statement Friday.
Cooper, paralyzed from the waist down as a result of the mass shooting that claimed seven lives, on Wednesday underwent his seventh surgery, this one to repair his torn esophagus.
Thursday morning, he showed some signs of improvement, according to his family, including having a normal body temperature.
But his fever spiked later Thursday to 104 degrees, and doctors at the University of Chicago’s Comer Children’s Hospital have detected fluid in his esophagus, lungs and pelvis.
And Cooper is back on a ventilator to help him breathe.
“Please keep sending love and prayers to my son as he continues to fight as hard as he can,” Cooper’s mother, Keely Roberts, said in the statement. “The family is very grateful for the outpouring of support and well wishes and asks for continued prayers for Cooper’s healing.”
As of Friday, an account set up by family friends had raised more than $1.5 million through GoFundMe to pay for Cooper’s treatment.
Cooper, his mother and his twin brother, Luke, all were among the dozens of people shot at the Fourth of July parade. Keely Roberts, who is superintendent of Zion Elementary School District 6, needed operations for foot and leg injuries. And Luke suffered shrapnel wounds to a leg.
Robert E. Crimo III, 21, who faces murder charges in the killings, is accused of firing down on the parade crowd from a rooftop with a military-style Smith & Wesson M&P15 semi-automatic rifle.
Cooper’s family has said a bullet entered his abdomen and tore into his liver, abdominal aorta and esophagus.
Neither his doctors nor the hospital has discussed his treatment or condition, with updates on the boy’s condition made through a public relations firm working with the family.
It says that anyone wanting to write to offer well wishes to Cooper and his family can do so through this address: Zion Elementary School District 6, 2800 29th St., Zion, IL 60099.
Brett Chase’s reporting on the environment and public health is made possible by a grant from The Chicago Community Trust.