Cooper Roberts will miss the start of the new school year next week. Instead, the 8-year-old who was paralyzed in the fatal attack on an Illinois Fourth of July parade will have to endure a painful rehabilitation process.
On Tuesday, the family of 8-year-old Cooper posted the most recent update in a series of biweekly posts about the boy’s recovery. They also revealed the truth about his injuries and the challenging road ahead.
“There are layers upon layers of cruelty with being shot by a sniper,” the family said in their update on Tuesday. Most people don’t see the pain that comes after recovering from such severe trauma. We think it’s important for people to know how things really are.
After being shot at an Independence Day parade in Highland Park, Cooper was paralyzed from the waist down. The assailant had been hiding on a nearby rooftop. His family has reported that he may never walk normally again.
The shooter, according to the authorities, used a semiautomatic rifle similar to the AR-15, which was designed for use in combat, and was responsible for the deaths of seven people and the injuries of forty-eight others. Cooper’s parents have said that their son and his family were at the parade to watch the parade when a bullet entered his abdomen and severed his spine.
Both his identical twin brother Luke and his mother, Keely, a school superintendent, were shot but have since been released from the hospital.
A sniper’s bullet is just one more layer of cruelty, the family said in a Tuesday update. “Those who endure these horrific wounds, both physical and mental, rarely have the opportunity to see the grueling aftermath. We think it’s important for people to know the truth, no matter how unpleasant it may be.”
Although his return to school is still a few weeks away, Cooper is already asking about how he will do, according to his family. The update states that he is worried about what he will do during recess.
It’s been a challenging summer. Cooper has recently made the transition from Comer Children’s Hospital’s recovery unit to the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab.
Also, Cooper has had to adjust to life without Luke by his side: However, the update noted that due to ongoing pandemic restrictions at the rehabilitation facility, his immediate family can only gather together with him once a week, for a brief period of time.
According to the latest information, “he desperately misses his twin brother, Luke.” He’s homesick for his loved ones, his familiar surroundings, his possessions, his friends, his dog, and his academic environment.
Family members say he suffers from chronic pain, experiences a sluggish physical recovery, and has trouble digesting solid food due to stomach pain.
According to the latest report, “He remains on heavy painkillers from which he is being weaned this week.”
His loved ones have expressed their gratitude for his continued life, but they have also made it clear that they want people to be aware of the challenges he continues to face.
Cooper is very resistant to the idea that he can be happy again, the update reads. There’s no hope for this eight-year-old kid; reality has hit him hard, and he’s feeling angry and sad and hopeless.
On Tuesday, Cooper’s loved ones realized he had been gone for a whopping 43 days.
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