Cooper transferred to rehabilitation center, enjoys first play date with dog since Highland Park shooting

  • Cooper Roberts, paralyzed in the Highland Park parade shooting, was able to enjoy a play date with his dog, George, at the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab in Chicago.

    Cooper Roberts, paralyzed in the Highland Park parade shooting, was able to enjoy a play date with his dog, George, at the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab in Chicago. Courtesy of the Roberts family

 
 
Updated 8/1/2022 6:25 PM

Cooper Roberts, the 8-year-old boy paralyzed from the waist down in the Highland Park parade shooting, was transferred to the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab in Chicago after spending nearly a month in the pediatric intensive care unit at Comer Children's Hospital.

According to a statement from family representatives, Cooper is eating solid food for the first time since the shooting and was able to enjoy one of his favorite meals, macaroni and cheese. He also had a play date with his beloved dog, George.

 

"A happy reunion for them both," the statement read.

According to family representatives, the team at AbilityLab will meet this week with Cooper and his family. A series of assessments will be made to determine the appropriate physical and occupational therapy he needs.

Cooper, according to family representatives, will undergo various types of rehabilitation and have access to mental health services to support his recovery.

Cooper, his mother and his twin brother were among the dozens wounded in the Fourth of July parade shooting. Seven were killed.

A GoFundMe online fundraiser at gofundme.com/f/kxwjn-the-roberts-family-fundraiser has raised more than $1.7 million toward a $2 million goal to help pay for Cooper's medical care and future needs.

"The family continues to feel all the prayers being sent their way and are grateful for and humbled by the outpouring of support as they begin to process what will be needed for Cooper when he eventually is able to return home," family representatives said in a statement.

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