Cooper Roberts: 8-year-old paralyzed in Highland Park shooting is battling for life after relapse
An 8-year-old boy was left paralyzed after the 4th of July mass shooting in Highland Park, Illinois. Cooper Roberts has since suffered a relapse and is now in critical condition. His family claims that he is still battling to stay alive.
According to a family representative, Cooper Roberts underwent emergency surgery after physicians found an infection that might be linked to a rip in his esophagus. The family representative, Anthony Loizzi, said, "The doctors were able to find and close the leak. This is a good outcome — Cooper is still fighting! His condition is being closely monitored and the next few days will be critical to ensure that he responds positively. "
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After being struck directly by a gunshot that destroyed his spine, Cooper underwent early treatment at Corner Children's Hospital in Chicago. He later experienced a collapsed lung and was rushed to the hospital where he was put on a ventilator.
Loizzi stated that the little boy is in pain, both physically and emotionally, especially after he got to know that he is paralyzed from the waist down. The family representative said that Cooper's condition had unexpectedly deteriorated before Tuesday's procedure.
"Cooper is currently spiking a fever and an elevated heart rate due to a new infection, which is being treated with medication," Loizzi said before the operation. "As a result, he is facing an urgent, complex, and lengthy surgery today to again attempt to repair his torn esophagus."
When he first awoke in the hospital, Cooper allegedly inquired about his twin brother Luke, who was also hurt in the shooting at the holiday parade last week. According to WMAQ-TV, Luke was injured by shrapnel and is now healing at home.
Furthermore, WMAQ-TV reported that Cooper's mother Keely Roberts, who is the superintendent of Zion Elementary School District 6, was wounded twice in the leg. She underwent several operations in the hospital and was later discharged. According to Loizzi, the mother should not have been discharged this quickly, but she insisted her doctors and nurses discharge her early or else "she'd walk out on her own because she needed to be with her son."
"It’s been a very emotional time for everybody in their circle. And if you know Keely, she’s just a fighter. And it sounds like Cooper got that part of her in him because he’s fighting as hard as he can," Loizzi added.
The family had set up a GoFundMe account that has so far received more than $1.4 million. The fundraiser reads as follows:
"Keely Roberts and her 8-year-old son, Cooper, were significantly impacted by the tragic events of this past Monday. Both were shot while attending the 4th of July parade in Highland Park. Cooper's spinal cord was severed. After undergoing many surgeries, he has been upgraded to a serious condition. However, the doctors have determined that he will be paralyzed from the waist down. He has been in and out of consciousness, but he needs to be continuously sedated due to the severe pain. Cooper continues to fight as hard as he can. We know their medical bills will be significant, as will the treatments, therapy, and all of the equipment, devices, and adaptations to their home. Please continue to keep the Roberts family in your thoughts and prayers. Any help you can provide is deeply appreciated. "