Cooper Roberts, the youngest victim of the July 4 shooting, was finally released from the hospital (Picture: AP/GoFundMe)
A boy partially paralyzed after getting shot in the July 4 parade attack in Highland Park, Illinois has returned home after being hospitalized for the last two and a half months.
Cooper Roberts, the youngest victim of a mass shooting at an Illinois town’s Fourth of July parade, was released from the hospital after ‘numerous’ surgeries and ‘weeks of pain and suffering, tears and questions, fear and agony, determination and fighting spirit,’ his family said.
‘We are at a total loss of words to express how filled with gratitude, love and wholeness we now feel given that we are able to finally have Cooper back at home,’ his parents, Jason and Keely Roberts, said in an update posted on GoFundMe.
Cooper, 8, suffered a severed spinal cord after being shot in the attack. He was paralyzed from the waist down.
Cooper Roberts suffered a severe injury to his spinal cord, paralyzing him from the waist down (Provider: GoFundMe)
Over the course of the last few months, Cooper was fully intubated, placed a ventilator, and using a feeding tube for meals. He was only taken off the tube at the beginning of September.
Earlier this month, Cooper’s family shared an update that he was suffering from some ‘cognitive loss’ after the shooting and weeks of intense recovery.
He was moved to the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, a specialized research hospital in Chicago.
Cooper’s parents said that his new life at home will come with a lot more challenges. ‘Now that he is home, Cooper has to deal on a daily basis with the sadness and grief of recognizing all the things he’s lost – all that he used to be able to do at his house, in his community, that he cannot do anymore,’ they said.
Cooper Roberts recovered at a specialized research hospital in Chicago (Picture: GoFundMe)
‘Even much of his own home which he cannot access.’ The family is still raising funds to cover the expenses for assistive technologies to help him live in his home.
However, the family remains committed to helping Cooper adjust to his ‘new normal.’
Cooper’s parents described him as ‘athletic’ before the shooting, and now he is focusing on finding new ways to play the sports he loves. He has already taken up playing wheelchair tennis at a local court, his family said.
Cooper was one of 48 people wounded in the deadly attack. Another 7 people died from their injuries.
The suspect, Robert Crimo III, was arrested the night after the attack after fleeing to Wisconsin. A grand jury indicted him on 117 counts, including multiple charges of murder, attempted murder, and aggravated battery.
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