CHICAGO (CBS) — Cooper Roberts, the 8-year-old boy who was shot and wounded in the Highland Park parade massacre, has had all of his IV tubes removed.
Cooper’s family said this week that his intravenous and peripheral central line (PICC) lines have been removed – as he no longer requires intravenous painkillers and antibiotics. He no longer has his IV feeding tube and can now eat foods he’s been craving for a while, such as Lay’s Dill Pickle Chips. Cheetos, Chick-Fil-A, McDonald’s and Xtra Cheddar Flavor-Blasted Goldfish Crackers.
“We’re all so happy to see him eat – and we’ll be working to get fruit and veg back into the rotation!” says Cooper’s family.
Cooper’s family say having the tubes removed has been a major mood boost, especially being able to eat some of his favorite foods and start maneuvering his wheelchair more easily without the tubes getting in the way. and cause him pain. The video shows him running down a hallway at the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab in his wheelchair with his physical therapists.
Cooper can’t see much of his twin brother, Luke, who was injured by shrapnel in the July 4 parade shooting. The AbilityLab’s COVID protocols limit their visits to a few hours per week. But their powerful time together was captured in photos.
Cooper also had a special visit Tuesday from former Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier — who suffered a spinal cord injury on the field in 2017 and has been working hard to overcome the injury. Shazier walked across the stage to announce the Steelers’ 2018 first-round pick after months of rehabilitation.
“Ryan has been transparent, genuine, genuine and gracious in sharing insights with us on his journey to recovery,” the Cooper family wrote. “We are so grateful for Ryan’s motivating words and his great kindness in spending time with Cooper and Luke.”
Shazier also works to give people with spinal cord injuries and their caregivers the support, resources and funding they need to live independent and fulfilling lives through the Ryan Shazier Fund for Spinal Rehabilitation.
During the parade massacre, Cooper was shot in the back and the bullet exited through his chest. The bullet “caused significant damage throughout his body, including his aorta, liver, esophagus and spinal cord,” his mother, Keely Roberts, wrote in late July.
Ms Roberts was also shot. She said she suffered gunshot wounds to two parts of her leg and had previously undergone several foot surgeries. The injuries require ongoing orthopedic treatment, she said.
Cooper’s brother Luke suffered only minor physical injuries – but the emotional trauma was devastating in itself, Roberts wrote.
As for Cooper’s long-term prognosis, the family said it remains unknown.
“Even 50 days after his injury, doctors don’t know what he might recover from and what limitations we will live with for his entire life,” his family wrote. “We know we are so grateful for his survival and for the many kind words we continue to receive, including from everyone working to help Cooper and others affected heal from this nightmare. Thank you all those who sent their best wishes, prayers, donations and donations.”