Highland Park shooting survivor Cooper Roberts, 8, in 'constant pain'

Child was left partly paralysed after gunman fired on parade watchers on July 4

Cooper Roberts, 8, was shot in the mass shooting during the Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois. Photo: The Roberts Family
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Cooper Roberts, 8, who was left partially paralysed during the July 4 shooting in Highland Park, Illinois, is in “constant pain” as he continues a “very long and hard road” to recovery, his family said.

Seven people were killed in the Chicago suburb after a gunman fired on a crowd enjoying the Independence Day parade.

Cooper, who was shot in the back, was one of dozens left injured.

His family has provided regular updates on his condition in the weeks after the attack, hoping to document the challenges of the long recovery process and the child's new reality.

“There are layers upon layers of cruelty with being shot by a sniper," his family said on their fund-raising page.

"Most people don’t witness the gruelling aftermath of surviving these devastating wounds, physical and emotional."

Cooper has undergone several operations since being shot and was transferred to a rehabilitation centre this month.

But he is in “constant pain” from internal damage, and remains on an IV drip and heavy painkillers, his family said.

“He is starting to recognise the severity of his limitations,” they said.

US Senator Richard Durbin sits at a hearing in Washington in front of a picture of Cooper Roberts, right, and Aiden McCarthy, 2, who lost both his parents in the Highland Park shooting. AFP

The family said it had been about 43 days since Cooper was home.

He desperately misses his twin brother, his dog and his friends, and can only see his whole family once a week because of Covid-19 protocols.

“It is very hard to convince Cooper that he will be happy again," the family said.

"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 and our path will be a very long and hard road.

“He’s an eight-year-old boy who feels hopeless, sad and angry as the reality of his life is setting in.”

The accused gunman has pleaded not guilty to 117 charges connected to the attack.

Updated: August 18, 2022, 12:54 PM
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