"The mental and emotional anguish of all he has been through and is going through, and all he has lost is taking its toll," Copper's family stated.
The Highland Park 4th of July weekend attack left seven people dead and dozens injured when a gunman opened fire from a roof into the crowd. One of the kids injured in this tragic shooting was Cooper Roberts, an 8-year-old boy who was attending the parade with his family. According to CNN, the attack has left him paralyzed.
Cooper, like most kids his age, loves playing sports and riding his bike. But unfortunately, life had taken a different turn for him since the attack. His family has been constantly updating about Cooper's health in a GoFundMe campaign created for him including the multiple surgeries that he had to undergo.
In a recent update, they shared the distress Cooper has been undergoing. "The mental and emotional anguish of all he has been through and is going through, and all he has lost is taking its toll," the statement read. Stressing upon the "layers of cruelty with being shot by a sniper," the family further stated, "Most people don't witness the grueling aftermath of surviving these devastating wounds."
Spare a thought for Cooper Roberts, paralyzed in the July 4th Highland Park attack. A once active 8-year-old now in constant pain, and the emotional toll is just as heavy.— Geoff Bennett (@GeoffRBennett) August 17, 2022
"It is very hard to convince Cooper that he will be happy again." Heartbreaking. https://t.co/9pPGqRrEMz
He underwent surgeries to repair his injured organs and stop infections and after spending a month in pediatric intensive care, Cooper was moved to a rehabilitation center. His family is agonized to see him in "constant pain" and they have been finding it "very hard to convince Cooper that he will be happy again." He was allowed solid food recently, but he was nauseous after only a couple of morsels.
While Cooper is in rehabilitation, the family shared, "He (is) starting to recognize the severity of his limitations as he participates in daily rigorous physical and occupational therapy maneuvering around two ports, a (catheter) line and three tubes coming out of his body." He has also been asking things about school like, “What will I do at recess?” despite his return to school being many weeks away.
The news cycles move on, but the victims can't. These updates from 8-year-old Highland Park victim Cooper Roberts' GoFundMe are as important as they are brutal.https://t.co/uCSvX4XIxz pic.twitter.com/DAWk6KLBq1— Alex Roux (@a_roux) August 17, 2022
While the physical injuries have been devastating to Cooper's body, he is drained mentally and emotionally too. Due to the pandemic-related protocols in the center, he can see his whole family only once a week for a short period of time. His family mentioned that "he desperately misses his twin brother, Luke. He misses his family, his home, his room, his toys, his friends, his dog and his school and everything."
The family further added, "He's an 8-year-old boy who feels hopeless, sad, and angry as the reality of his life is setting in."
8-year-old Cooper Roberts, who was shot and partially paralyzed in the Highland Park, Illinois, mass shooting, is feeling "hopeless, sad and angry as the reality of his life is setting in," his family says. https://t.co/lbQjFa111k— ABC News (@ABC) August 18, 2022
The family went on to let everyone know that "kindness makes him smile." But they also expressed their grief stating, "Of course, we are beyond grateful for his survival, and we know others weren't as fortunate, but we want people to know his path/our path will be a very long and hard road."
A verified GoFundMe campaign has been created in support of the family for their financial expenses.
Cover Image Source: GoFundMe | The Cooper Roberts Family Fundraiser