Cooper Roberts begins rehab after Highland Park shooting, hopes to rejoin classmates soon – Shaw Local

Cooper Roberts, the 8-year-old paralyzed from the waist down in the Highland Park parade shooting, has all the motivation he needs as he begins rehabilitation at the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab in Chicago.

Over the next two to three months, he aims to join his classmates in third grade — including his twin brother, Luke — to take classes at Braeside Elementary School.

“This is a huge motivation for Cooper as he is excited to return to class and see his friends,” his family said in a statement.

According to the Roberts family, Cooper attends daily physical and occupational therapy at AbilityLab to help him regain strength and rebuild his mobility. He and Luke, who was injured by shrapnel in the July 4 shooting, are also counseling and using other mental health resources to heal from the emotional and psychological trauma they have. endured.

The family statement says Cooper has symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, including flashbacks that disrupt his sleep.

Cooper, who remains in the care of the medical team at Comer Children’s Hospital Chicago, was unable to fully complete the American Spinal Injury Association’s Impairment Scale assessment to determine the extent of his injuries and his full prognosis for the future.

Cooper will return to Comer this week so surgeons can check on his recovery from previous heart transplants and esophageal surgeries.

The family said they were looking for short-term accommodation that Cooper could afford when he returned home. They will eventually have to buy a long-term home because their century-old Highland Park home cannot be renovated to accommodate Cooper.

A wheelchair-accessible vehicle will also be needed once Cooper is released from hospital care in the next six to 12 weeks.

Cooper, Luke and their mother were among dozens injured in the parade shooting. Seven were killed.

A GoFundMe online fundraiser at raised more than $1.7 million toward a $2 million goal to help pay for Cooper’s medical care and future needs.