Cooper Roberts, the 8-year-old who was paralyzed in the Highland Park shooting, has been released from the rehabilitation hospital and is back at home, his family announced.
The boy was discharged from the hospital in late July and transferred to Shirley Ryan AbilityLab in Chicago, which is a rehabilitation facility.
He had been participating in physical and occupational therapy every day to help him regain mobility and strength.
Cooper’s parents, Jason and Keely Roberts, said in an update Thursday that their son has been discharged from Shirley Ryan.
“We are at a total loss of words to express how filled with gratitude, love and wholeness we now feel given that we are able to finally have Cooper back at home,” the parents said in a statement.
“There was a time, not all that long ago, where we were desperately and feverishly praying just for Cooper to live. To be able to have Cooper home and our family all reunited together again is such an amazing blessing. He is able to live once again with his twin brother, Luke, and resume being one another’s very best playmates.”
“You take for granted how wonderful it is to be able to have all your children together and how important they are to each other until it is taken away. Having our children reunited as a sibling unit and knowing that they can be together whenever they need or want to, is so special to us and to Cooper. They have held each other up and through so much during what has been the most horrific time in their lives,” the statement said.
Cooper’s parents said that the boy continues to face a “heartbreakingly cruel and unfair” road ahead.
The transition between the hospital and home is a “gigantic learning curve for all of us,” the Roberts said.
“And, now that he is home, Cooper has to deal on a daily basis with the sadness and grief of recognizing all the things he’s lost – all that he used to be able to do at his house, in his community, that he cannot do anymore … playgrounds he cannot play on, sports he cannot physically play the way he used to, a backyard he cannot play in the same way he used to, a bike in the garage that sits idle, that we used to have to fight him to stop riding each day,” Cooper’s parents said.
The family said their home does not work for them anymore due to Cooper being paralyzed and requiring a wheelchair.
The boy suffered a gunshot wound that left his spinal cord severed in the July 4 shooting.
Cooper is going to find new sports to play and has decided to take up wheelchair tennis, his family said.
“He and Luke are each excited to really learn to play the game and will hopefully play both together and individually for years to come. We have no doubt Cooper will be wicked awesome at tennis…and any other sport he decides to play. It will just be different,” his parents said.