Highland Park mass shooting victim Cooper Roberts, 8, moved from intensive care
The boy, paralyzed when his spinal cord was severed by a bullet July 4, was moved to a rehabilitation center on Sunday. He was also reunited with his dog George.
Cooper Roberts, who was shot and paralyzed in the Fourth of July mass shooting in Highland Park, moved out of intensive care and was transferred to a rehabilitation center Sunday.
The news is a positive development for the 8-year-old boy whose family calls his survival a miracle. Cooper has been in critical condition for much of the time since being shot. He suffered major organ damage and a severed spinal cord that left him paralyzed from the waist down.
“Cooper is eating solid food now, including one of his favorites, mac and cheese,” the Roberts family said in a written statement released Monday. “He was also able to visit with his dog George, a happy reunion for them both.”
Just days after Cooper was shot, he requested his dog.
After being initially treated at a Highland Park hospital, Cooper was airlifted to the University of Chicago’s Comer Children’s Hospital and has had multiple surgeries.
Cooper is now being treated at Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, a Streeterville facility formerly known as the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.
A medical team from AbilityLab will meet with Cooper and his family to assess the boy’s needs and decide what physical therapy and occupational therapy he will need, the family said.
The assessment will also determine “other rehabilitation and mental health services to support Cooper in regaining his strength and reaching his maximum potential moving forward,” the family’s statement added.
Robert E. Crimo III, 21, is accused of shooting Highland Park Fourth of July parade attendees with a military-style rifle from a nearby rooftop, killing seven people and injuring dozens more. He faces many charges, including multiple counts of murder.
The bullet that tore through Cooper’s body entered his abdomen and damaged his liver, abdominal aorta and esophagus in addition to severing his spinal cord.
Cooper’s mother, Keely Roberts, suffered foot and leg injuries, while his twin, Luke, was also injured by shrapnel wounds to the leg. Last week, Keely Roberts made her first public statements, thanking those who came to her son’s aid on July 4. She said it was a miracle her son survived.
“The family continues to feel all the prayers being sent their way and are grateful for and humbled by the outpouring of support as they begin to process what will be needed for Cooper when he eventually is able to return home,” the family statement on Monday said.
Friends of the family have raised more than $1.7 million through GoFundMe.
Brett Chase’s reporting on the environment and public health is made possible by a grant from The Chicago Community Trust.