An 8-year-old boy may never walk again after suffering a severed spinal cord from a gunshot wound to the chest during an attack at a parade in Chicago’s Highland Park on July 4, a family spokesman said Thursday.
Cooper Roberts was among the most seriously injured among dozens of people who survived gunshots and other injuries in the mass shooting that left seven people dead and his twin brother and mother also injured.
He was listed Thursday in critical but stable condition, paralyzed from the waist down while still breathing on a ventilator, a family spokesman said.
“This will be the new normal for him moving forward,” Loizzi said. “It looks like he’s going to have some serious trouble moving forward, especially walking.”
Cooper’s twin brother, Luke, was hospitalized with shrapnel wounds to his lower body, but was released after doctors removed some of the debris, though they were unable to remove all of it.
The boys’ mother, Kiley Roberts, suffered gunshot wounds to the legs and feet, spokesman Anthony Loisi told reporters on Zoom.
Jason Roberts’ father, who also attended the parade, was not injured.
Cooper Roberts, 8, may never walk again after suffering a severed spinal cord from a gunshot wound to the chest during an attack on a July 4 parade in Chicago’s Highland Park.
The Cooper family poses for a group photo. Bottom left is twin brother Luke, to his right is Cooper, father Jason is behind and mother Kelly is on the right. The two older sisters are not named
Twin brother Luke (right) suffered shrapnel wounds to his lower body but was discharged after doctors removed some of the debris, although they were unable to remove all
He was listed Thursday in serious but stable condition, paralyzed from the waist down while still breathing on a ventilator
Cooper is “incredibly athletic, he loves football, cycling, baseball,” his sister said, adding that he is “so studious and loves to read — a literal bookworm.”
Because of the severity of his spinal cord injury, doctors aren’t sure if Cooper will ever walk again, according to Loica, a fellow mother who is superintendent of the Lake County Elementary School District.
Cooper, normally a “very active” child with a passion for baseball and other sports, has remained unconscious and sedated since he was airlifted to the University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital, Loitzi said.
The mother, who has undergone at least two surgeries herself, was so distraught by Cooper’s condition that she insisted she be released on Wednesday, earlier than doctors thought would be best, until her bleeding was better controlled to be with her son at the orphanage . hospital,” said Loitsi.
Cooper loved the family dog
The boy underwent several surgeries, including one Wednesday night in which surgeons “finally closed his abdomen,” the spokesman said.
Although he was not informed of the specifics of Cooper’s prognosis, Loizi told reporters that the boy’s mother and older sister talked about “this is going to be the new normal for him going forward.”
“He’s fighting as hard as he can,” Loitzi said of the boy’s recovery. The family as a whole, including the four adult sisters, were “devastated but focused their energies on Cooper,” he said.
“It was a very emotional time for everyone in their circle,” he said, adding that he did not know if Luke was yet aware of the seriousness of his twin’s condition.
Loizzi said both Cooper and twin brother Luke “loved the parade” and had attended the event in the past, but he did not know where they were on the parade route when the shots rang out.
They are “best friends, partners in crime,” Cooper’s older sister said in a statement.
“There is nothing this kid can’t do and no words to describe the amount of goodness in him,” the post added.
Friends of the family have set up a GoFundMe page to help pay their medical bills.
The Roberts weren’t the only family to suffer multiple casualties in the bloodshed in Highland Park, Illinois.
Among those killed were Irina McCarthy, 35, and her husband Kevin McCarthy, 37, whose 2-year-old son was found wandering unharmed but alone and orphaned after the attack.
Two-year-old Aiden McCarthy (pictured) was left an orphan on Monday after his parents were killed in a shooting at a Highland Park parade
Dr. David Baum, a longtime obstetrician in Highland Park, attended the parade with his wife and children to watch his two-year-old grandson participate. As shots rang out and others fled, he rushed into the fray to try to help the injured.
In an interview with CNNBaum described seeing victims with “war-like” and “unspeakable” injuries.
The shooter, 21-year-old Robert Crimeau, was arrested on Monday evening, July 4, after using a rifle “similar to an AR-15” to fire more than 70 shots from the top of a commercial building into a crowd gathered for a parade in Highland Park . , an affluent community of about 30,000 people on the shores of Lake Michigan, police said.
Hundreds of mourners gathered at dusk Tuesday to honor the memory of those killed in the mass shooting.
Hundreds of mourners gathered at dusk Tuesday to hold a vigil for those killed in the Highland Park mass shooting
On Tuesday, dozens of mourners gather for a vigil near Central Avenue and St. Johns Avenue in downtown Highland Park.
Community members gather at a memorial site along the parade route the day after a mass shooting at a Fourth of July parade in the Chicago suburb of Highland Park, Illinois, on Tuesday
Grieving relatives, friends and neighbors of the victims lit candles, laid flowers on the floor and wrote remembrances Tuesday night at a memorial near the parade route where the July 4 fatal shooting took place.
Community members hugged each other during the vigil, with some breaking down after being overcome with emotion following Monday’s shooting.
Others wrote the victims’ names along with tributes on colorful pieces of cloth tied to the railings.
So far, seven people have died and dozens have been injured after 21-year-old gunman Robert Crimeau opened fire on an Independence Day parade with an AR-15.
Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart said Tuesday night that Crimea has been charged with seven counts of first-degree murder. He said “dozens” more charges would be filed and that he hoped to send Krimo to prison for life.
If you would like to donate to the Roberts family’s Gofundme page, you can do so here