Cooper Roberts update: Boy paralyzed in parade shooting breathing on his own

Cooper Roberts' Highland Park GoFundMe has raised over $1.5M; mother, Keely Roberts, local school supt.

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Monday, July 18, 2022
Boy paralyzed in Highland Park shooting breathing on his own
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Cooper Roberts, the 8-year-old boy paralyzed after the Highland Park, IL shooting, remains in critical condition.

ZION, Ill. (WLS) -- An 8-year-old boy paralyzed in the Highland Park mass shooting remains in critical condition, but is making some hopeful progress, a family spokesperson said.

Cooper Roberts was shot and suffered a severed spinal cord, among other injuries, after a gunman opened fire on the July 4 parade. Seven people were killed and more than 30 others were injured. The young boy is now paralyzed from the waist down.

Roberts is still in the pediatric intensive care unit, but the family is hopeful he will be moved out of the PICU later this week.

He has been fever-free for 48 hours and is no longer on a ventilator, so he can breathe on his own. He was recently spiking a fever due to an infection.

He sat up with help and took a brief first ride in a wheelchair over the weekend.

"It was very difficult and emotional for him and his family," the spokesperson said.

A recent CT scan revealed fluid building around his pelvis, which remains concerning, he said.

RELATED: Dr. Keely Roberts, Zion school superintendent, twin sons among those shot at Highland Park parade

"Please keep sending love and prayers to my son as he continues to fight as hard as he can," Cooper's mother Keely Roberts previously said.

Cooper's twin brother, Luke, as well as his mother, Zion Elementary School District 6 Superintendent Dr. Roberts, were also shot during the attack, family said.

Luke has been treated for shrapnel wounds to a leg, was released from the hospital and is recuperating at home with his older sisters, who were not at the parade and uninjured.

Dr. Roberts was shot twice in the leg and foot. She underwent two surgeries, and, after she learned of Cooper's condition, told doctors to discharge her or said she would walk out on her own.

"I hope, and I think everyone here is hoping and praying, that he will have the best possible outcome, but it's a long road ahead," said Dr. Ana Velez-Rosborough, trauma surgeon at NorthShore University HealthSystem.

Velez-Rosborough led the team of half a dozen surgeons that saved Cooper's life in those first critical hours after the shooting.

Once his condition was stabilized, he was transferred to Comer Children's Hospital.

SEE MORE: Highland Park shooting: Paralyzed 8-year-old back in critical condition, completes 7th surgery

"That little kid, he is a trooper," Velez-Rosborough said.

She said before July 4 she had treated adults, but no one as young as Cooper Roberts, for injuries from the type of high-powered rifle allegedly used in the shooting.

"In my opinion, as a healthcare provider and a surgeon and a person who sees these injuries, they have absolutely no place in the civilian world," she said.

Friends of the family have started a GoFundMe campaign to support medical needs.

Over $1.5 million has been raised for the family.

A family spokesman said Cooper loves sports, especially baseball, and is a huge Milwaukee Brewers fan.

Sun-Times Media contributed to this report.