8-year-old Cooper Roberts continues his recovery at the University of Chicago’s Comer Children’s Hospital. Cooper was one of the dozens hurt during the July 4th parade shooting in Highland Park, IL. Seven people were also killed, with the shooter being taken into custody. Cooper’s mother, Keely Roberts, and twin brother Luke were also injured during the shooting. Luke was hit by shrapnel but was able to recover at home. Keely, despite having a couple of surgeries after being shot in the “leg and foot area” asked to be discharged from the hospital so she could remain with Cooper. Doctors reported that Cooper would be paralyzed from the waist down after a bullet severed his spinal cord.

Cooper’s progress has been a series of ups and downs. Cooper’s GoFundMe, which has raised over $1.6 million with over 24,000 donations, shares many of his experiences. On July 10, Georgette Topalis, one of the fundraising organizers, shared that the family informed Robert of his paralysis, devastating news for anyone, but especially for an 8-year-old. Despite the injuries to the young boy, including damage to his aorta, Topalis wrote on the July 10 update, “The family wishes to acknowledge and thank the many, many people – emergency medics, police, fire department, nurses and doctors at both hospitals who did extraordinary things to save Cooper’s life. It was a true miracle.” A couple days later, Cooper was moved back from serious condition to critical after it was determined the hole in his esophagus had reopened. Cooper went in for his seventh surgery.

By Monday, his latest update was more optimistic, stating that the young boy remained in critical condition, but it was hoped he would be removed from the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) later in the week and that he had been fever free for 48 hours and was breathing on his own without a ventilator. Cooper was also pushed around in a wheelchair, “something he will need to get used to,” Topalis noted. The family continues to remain positive despite the dramatic changes in Cooper’s life. Anthony Liozzi, a spokesperson for the family, shared a text message from Keely on Facebook earlier in the week stating, “Cooper is living proof of the power of prayer….This morning…he just wakes up with no fever. None. Breathing over the vent. Numbers all perfect. Lungs look good and is going to be taken off breathing tube later today. He is just a miracle. He is going to change the world. Really, truly he is. He is going to keep fighting and will be the person (albeit just a cute little person) to teach the world that love wins. That good can, and will, defeat evil.”

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