“There was a time, not so long ago, when we were desperately and feverishly praying that Cooper would live. Having Cooper home and our family reunited is an amazing blessing,” Jason and Keely Roberts. , the child’s parents said in a statement Thursday.
Seven people were killed and dozens injured when a gunman fired into the crowd at a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park. Cooper’s injuries included a partially collapsed lung and severed spinal cord.
That reality is one that will lead to a steep learning curve for Cooper and his entire family, as his parents said they are trying to navigate a new lifestyle with new challenges and adjustments, including their home, which will now have to adapt. wheelchair and “many other needs”.
“It’s another thing that keeps us up at night – how do we find, renovate or build a home that can work for our family again? Right now, Cooper can only go into certain parts of the house – that’s not right for him or our family,” they said. their statements.
And now that Cooper is back home, reminders of life before the shooting are frequent.
“Cooper has to deal every day with the sadness and grief of recognizing all the things he’s lost; everything he was able to do in his home, in his community, that he can no longer do…the playground itself. He can’t play, he can’t play sports the way he used to physically, the yard like he can’t play, a bike sitting idle in the garage, that we had to fight him to stop riding it every day,” his parents said.
“For all the love he’s given back, there are so many painful reminders of what he’s lost. There are no words we know that adequately describe the level of pain you feel or what Cooper feels when he sees his bike. he can’t ride anymore or his old football jersey… heartbreaking, painful, disappointment — there are no painful enough descriptions,” they added.
But Cooper is determined to find new ways to play sports, his parents said.
“Cooper has decided to take up wheelchair tennis. He’s already been on the tennis courts a couple of times,” they said. “We have no doubt that Cooper will be incredible at tennis … and any other sport he decides to play. He’s just going to be different.”
Cooper is also once again able to live — and play — with his twin brother, Luke, who was one of the first people he asked us to see after he briefly woke up from his first surgery. The two will now “begin to be each other’s best playmates,” Cooper’s parents said.
“Since the beginning, Cooper has inspired us. He’s brave and kind. He’s tough as nails, but he has a soft heart. He cares more about the well-being of others than his own. He loves the world… and that’s it. Love and prayers from all of you that you send and continue to send him. because we believe that he is still on the road to recovery,” said the parents.
CNN’s Andy Rose contributed to the report.