Highland Park, Community

Cooper Roberts’ doctors fear cognitive loss; fundraiser goal raised

Medical professionals cannot yet accurately provide an outlook on the future of Cooper Roberts, the 8-year-old boy who was shot in the spine during the July 4 mass shooting in Highland Park; however, they were disconcerted by behavior this week, according to an update from the Roberts family.

Cooper’s team at Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, where he is currently receiving care, reportedly noticed signs of cognitive loss during Cooper’s recent therapeutic exercises.

“Therapists are seeing short-term memory loss, issues with word recovery, and loss of acuity around fine motor skills,” the update says. “They are doing a comprehensive neurological and psychological evaluation this week and working on new therapies.”

The family and AbilityLab team are also working together on Cooper’s future at-home needs, such as assistive technologies and house features.

“It’s overwhelming to consider,” says the family in the statement.

With the latest update, the family also decided to increase the goal for its ongoing GoFundMe virtual fundraiser. Since the events of July 4, more than 30,000 donations have totaled more than $2 million toward Cooper and the family’s recovery.

Cooper, his twin brother Luke and their mother, Keely Roberts, were among the dozens of people injured in the shooting during the town’s Fourth of July parade in downtown Highland Park.

Luke, who was struck with shrapnel, and Keely, who was shot in the leg, were treated and sent home to recover. Cooper suffered a severed spinal cord, as well as injuries to his liver and esophagus, and is paralyzed from the waist down. He endured numerous surgeries during his monthlong stay in pediatric intensive care at the University of Chicago’s Children’s Hospital before he was transferred to Shirley Ryan AbilityLab.

Cooper will be a third-grader at Braeside Elementary School in Highland Park this fall.

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joe coughlin
Joe Coughlin

Joe Coughlin is a co-founder and the editor in chief of The Record. He leads investigative reporting and reports on anything else needed. Joe has been recognized for his investigative reporting and sports reporting, feature writing and photojournalism. Follow Joe on Twitter @joec2319

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