Cooper Roberts, the boy paralyzed in the Highland Park parade shooting, was awarded the Socrates Award, a lifetime cash grant, for his “strength and courage” during his recovery.
Cooper suffered a gunshot wound that left his spinal cord severed in the July 4 shooting in Highland Park.
Seven people were killed and dozens of others were shot. Over 80 rounds were fired by the gunman into the parade crowd.
Cooper’s injuries led to him being permanently paralyzed and requiring the use of a wheelchair.
The boy was discharged from the hospital in late July and transferred to Shirley Ryan AbilityLab in Chicago, a rehabilitation facility.
He participated in physical and occupational therapy to help him regain mobility and strength.
Cooper was discharged from the facility and later returned to school in October where he entered the third grade.
Brennan Rehabilitation Foundation, a charitable foundation based in Lake Forest, recently awarded Cooper the 2022 Socrates Award, a grant given annually to individuals with paralysis caused by illness or injury.
The lifetime cash grant provides spinal cord injury survivors with yearly infusions of economic resources to aid in their ongoing care, including therapy, equipment, prescriptions and in-home care.
The 2022 Socrates Award recognizes Cooper and two others for their efforts to achieve personal success while pursuing the “daily grind” of physical rehabilitation and recovery, the foundation said.
The Socrates Award, created by Christopher Brennan, honors the Socratic creed’s ideal of “mens sana in corpore sano,” which means “a healthy mind in a healthy body.”
“Cooper’s strength and courage in facing his resulting paralysis, and through numerous surgeries towards recovery, has been astonishing and inspirational,” the foundation said.
A GoFundMe account raised over $2.13 million to help the Roberts family pay for expenses. Over 31,000 people contributed to the donations.
“Our religious community, the boys’ school, our Highland Park community and the entire North Shore community…you are our family and we love you. Not figuratively, but literally. You saved our lives. You have loved us as your own; you have cared for us, prayed for us, fed us, cheered us on, cried with us, rallied around us, held our hands…you have shown us such generosity in every way possible…and all while you were grieving, too,” Cooper’s mother said in a December statement.
“We encourage you to believe that for all of us, our best days are still ahead. We ask that you please keep praying for Cooper’s full recovery and for both Luke and Cooper to heal from their pain,” Keely Roberts added.