‘It was a real miracle’: Family of 8-year-old boy paralyzed in shooting thank first responders

Calling their loved one’s survival a ‘true miracle’, the family of Cooper Roberts, the 8-year-old boy who was paralyzed in the 4th of July parade shooting in Highland Park, expressed their gratitude to emergency personnel who saved the boy’s life.

In a statement, Anthony Loizzi, a spokesperson for the family, said Cooper’s family wanted to acknowledge and thank the “many, many people” including doctors, police, firefighters, nurses and doctors. , who “did extraordinary things to save the life of the young boy”.

“It was a real miracle,” he said.

Cooper was attending the July 4 parade with his twin brother, mother and father when a gunman fired dozens of bullets into the crowd, killing at least seven people.

Cooper was shot in the chest and suffered significant injuries, including a severed spinal cord, Loizzi previously said. He was still in serious condition at Comer Children’s Hospital on Sunday evening and was due to undergo surgery to repair damage to his esophagus on Monday.

The weekend was particularly difficult, according to the family spokesperson, as the family informed Cooper that he was paralyzed.

“He is in great pain – physically and emotionally – especially as the family has had to share with him the devastating news that he is paralyzed from the waist down,” the statement added.

Cooper’s mother, Zion Elementary School District 6 Superintendent Keely Roberts, and twin brother Luke were also shot and injured in the shooting.

Roberts was struck in the foot and leg, had multiple surgeries and was released from the hospital at her request so she could be by Cooper’s side, Loizzi said. Luke was injured by shrapnel and released from hospital.

The full statement is below:

“It has been a very difficult weekend for the Roberts family who are caring for their 8 year old son, Cooper Roberts, who was shot and suffered a severed spinal cord during the New Year’s Day Parade. independence from Highland Park, Ill. He is in a lot of pain – physically and emotionally – especially as the family had to share with him the devastating news that he is paralyzed from the waist down.

The family would like to provide these updates, some of which are new news after deeper conversations with the heroic doctors and nurses who first treated Cooper at Highland Park Hospital:

  • He is still in serious condition.
  • He is due for another procedure tomorrow to repair the damage to his esophagus.
  • The bullet entered his abdomen, not his chest as originally believed.
  • Doctors from Highland Park Hospital:
    • “Cooper was seriously injured, in a very dangerous place. The bullet entered his upper abdomen, injuring the left lobe of his liver, his esophagus near his stomach, his abdominal aorta and exited through his back, injuring his spinal cord. He needed urgent surgery to control the bleeding in his abdomen. Because the missile entered just below the diaphragm, the muscle that divides the chest and abdomen, the bleeding from the aorta could not be controlled from the abdomen. We had to perform a thoracotomy by opening his chest to temporarily clamp his aorta to slow the bleeding. Because the injury to the aorta was so severe, the injured segment had to be removed and replaced with an adult-sized synthetic graft so he could grow in. The hole in his esophagus was stitched up. The complex injury to his liver was also repaired. Due to the severity of his injuries and the massive amount of transfusions blood ions he needed during the operation, his abdomen was left open with a specialized vacuum dressing. At this point, his critical life-threatening injuries had been treated and he was stable enough to be transferred to Comer Children’s Hospital at the University of Chicago for continued care.

The family would like to acknowledge and thank the many, many people – emergency physicians, police, firefighters, nurses and doctors at both hospitals – who did extraordinary things to save Cooper’s life. It was a real miracle. And to say a heartfelt thank you to the thousands of people who prayed, sent gifts, supported the family in so many ways, and donated to the Go Fund Me campaign for Cooper’s long-term care:”

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