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'Family is hopeful': Condition improves for 8-year-old seriously injured in mass shooting

Cooper Roberts.JPEG
Posted at 1:05 PM, Jul 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-18 14:09:36-04

July 18, 2022 update: The family of the 8-year-old shot and critically injured during the Highland Park mass shooting says they are "hopefully" he will be moved out of the Pediatric intensive care unit later this week.

Cooper Roberts has been in the hospital since the shooting and his condition has been at times dark and at others more hopeful. He recently underwent surgery, but now family says he is no longer on the ventilator and is breathing on his own.

He also sat up with help and took a brief ride in the wheelchair for the first time last weekend - "sadly, something he will need to get used to. It was very difficult and emotional for him and his family," according to the GoFundMe.

Organizers also increased the goal of the GoFundMe fundraiser to $2 million. They are just about $400,000 away from the new goal, as of Monday afternoon.


July 15, 2022 update: Family said Friday 8-year-old Cooper Roberts, who was partially paralyzed in the Highland Park mass shooting, is still in critical condition.

Roberts had his seventh surgery on Wednesday to reclose the original bullet-induced tear in his esophagus, according to an update from the family's spokesperson.

There were initially positive signs Thursday morning, but as the day progressed, Roberts had high fevers up to 104. A CT scan showed fluid building in his esophagus, lungs, and around his pelvis.

Roberts is still on a ventilator and breathing tube.

According to a spokesperson, Roberts' mother Keely stated, “Please keep sending love and prayers to my son as he continues to fight as hard as he can.”


July 13, 2022 update: Family says 8-year-old Cooper Roberts, who was partially paralyzed in the Highland Park mass shooting, went through surgery and is making progress in his recovery.

Organizers for Roberts' GoFundMe say on Tuesday doctors fixed a leak in his esophagus, which connects the mouth and the stomach.

"This is a good outcome for Cooper, and he is still fighting! His condition is being closely monitored and the next few days will be critical to ensure that he responds positively. The family is so grateful for the support and prayers that have been shared by so many," according to an update to the fundraiser.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the GoFundMe has raised more than $1.4 million, which will be used to pay for significant medical bills.

Anthony Liozzi, the spokesperson for the Roberts family, says Cooper was at the parade with his parents and twin brother, Luke.

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Family says an 8-year-old boy is in critical condition after he was shot in the chest during the Highland Park parade on Monday.

Luke was hit by shrapnel and was treated and released. Cooper's mother, Keely, was shot in the foot and leg. She has had two surgeries and will likely need a third. Liozzi said Keely insisted she be with her son when she woke up from her second surgery.

Cooper has four other sisters and lives in Highland Park. His sister writes he just went to his first Brewers game a few weeks ago, and "couldn't have loved it more." He loves sports and loves football, including the Green Bay Packers.

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Cooper Roberts is on a ventilator at Comer Children's Hospital at the University of Chicago campus.

Liozzi says the family is devastated but leaning on each other. They have a GoFundMe set up for Cooper, who Liozzi says will likely need extensive therapy and treatments going forward. His spine was severed and it's unclear if he will be able to walk.

Dr. Keely Roberts is the superintendent of Zion Elementary District 6.

"She's done things like I'm doing right now for kids in her school that have suffered tragedies, and is a huge advocate for her students," Liozzi said. "After watching her give so much of herself to other people for her whole career, she needs our support now."

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8-year-old Cooper Roberts

The district board president Ruth Davis writes, “(Zion Elementary School District 6 Superintendent) Dr. Keely Roberts and her 8-year-old son, Cooper, were greatly impacted by the tragic events of this past Monday. Both were shot while attending the 4th of July parade in Highland Park. Keely was seriously injured but will recover. However, Cooper was shot in the chest, his spinal cord was severed, and he is currently in critical condition. After being Life Flighted to a hospital in Chicago and after several surgeries, the little guy is fighting as hard as he can. We are hopeful that he will be ok, but we know his medical bills will be significant as will the therapy that will follow. Please pray that Cooper will recover as best as possible. Any help you can provide--thoughts, prayers, or donations, is greatly appreciated.”

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Cooper Roberts

Cooper's sister, Payton, writes, "Cooper is the funniest little boy you’ll ever meet! He is silly and creative, and above all else he loves everyone unconditionally and genuinely. Him and Luke are more than twins - they are best friends, partners in crime. Cooper has never met a stranger a day in his life - everyone he meets is his instant best friend (second only to Luke). He is also unbelievably athletic - he loves soccer, riding his bike, baseball (Go Brew Crew - about a week or so ago he went to his first Brewers game and couldn’t have loved it more ) and football (Go Pack Go). He is so studious and loves to read - a literal bookworm. Maybe that’s why he is the funniest, most engaging story teller you’ll ever meet. There’s nothing this kid can’t do and no words for the amount of goodness within."

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