HIGHLAND PARK, Sick. — Life is now drastically different for Cooper Roberts and his family, but his mom said Cooper is completely satisfied and making positive strides, while learning to reflect on his situation in a different way than he has before.
“He’s the ball of sunshine, funny, caring kids and that’s still the identical. That hasn’t modified,” said Keely Roberts, Cooper’s mom. “I feel probably the largest change with Cooper is he’s reflecting on himself otherwise.”
Life modified dramatically for the family on July 4, 2022, when Keely, Cooper and his twin, Luke, were amongst dozens injured during a deadly mass shooting at Highland Park’s Independence Day Parade.
After extensive medical care, which continues nearly each day, Cooper stays paralyzed from the waist down in a wheelchair.
“He’s maneuvering this rather well. I feel he’s learning to, firstly, consider himself fortunate to be alive,” Roberts said.
Roberts said Cooper absolutely loves sports — including wheelchair basketball and sled hockey.
“He likes to be on a team as much as he likes to play sports,” Roberts said. “I feel considered one of the amazing things about Cooper is he really likes to be on a team.”
Roberts is now home full-time. She said she’s grateful she and her sons survived, but doesn’t sugarcoat the each day challenges.
“Considered one of the things that has been really hard to reconcile is the lack of spontaneity,” Roberts said. “That lack of ability to simply quickly make a call.”
To assist Cooper get around their home easier, the family is hoping to boost $900,000 to make their house fully ADA-accessible, which Roberts said is the goal because they need Cooper to have the opportunity to completely and completely engage along with his environment.
For the reason that shooting in Highland Park, countless other mass shootings have impacted communities across the country. In line with the Gun Violence Archive, 631 mass shootings have been reported in america this 12 months, with the most recent striking the University of Nevada-Las Vegas campus Wednesday.
“It has been hard. Each time you switch on the news and also you see one other thing like this has happened,” Roberts said. “It makes you’re thinking that that we’re just not moving forward. It doesn’t have to be this manner.”
Despite each day tragedy and what has happened to her family, Roberts said she still believes in hope, and her two sons are “giants” in so some ways, including optimism.
“I do feel like this can be a time to lean into gratitude and to recollect there may be a lot good on the planet,” Roberts said. “I feel Cooper would want everyone to understand how much he truly appreciates them. He talks about feeling that support and he would tell them he’s going to maintain fighting.”
To make a donation toward Cooper Roberts’ medical expenses, visit helphopelive.org, or to make a donation toward the Roberts family making their home ADA-compliant, visit the GoFundMe page below.
Home Fundraiser: https://www.gofundme.com/f/coopers-home