HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. (WTVO) — Cooper Roberts, the 8-year-old boy left paralyzed following a Highland Park 4th of July parade shooting, has finally returned home.
His family announced the news on Thursday, on the family’s GoFundMe.
“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,” the family wrote.
Cooper has undergone multiple surgeries after suffering broken vertebrae, severe spinal cord injury, and paralysis. He will still undergo daily rehabilitation.
“We know that Cooper continues to face a heartbreakingly cruel and unfair road ahead. The transition to having Cooper’s extensive medical needs being addressed at home vs. at the hospital or rehabilitation clinic is a gigantic learning curve for all of us. And, 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 … playgrounds he cannot play on, sports he cannot physically play the way he used to, a backyard he cannot play in the same way he used to, a bike in the garage that sits idle, that we used to have to fight him to stop riding each day… even much of his own home which he cannot access. For all the love that he has come back to, there are so many painful reminders of what he has lost,” the family wrote.
He and his twin brother, Luke, who was struck by shrapnel and is home, loved the Fourth of July parade in their Chicago suburb.
But now the family is envisioning a “new normal” for Cooper who was wounded in a hail of gunfire that left dozens of others wounded and seven dead.
The boys’ mother, Keely Roberts, who is the superintendent of the 2,300-student Zion Elementary School District, also was hurt but not as seriously. Only the boys’ father, Jason Roberts, was unscathed.