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Cooper Roberts, the 8-year-old boy who was shot in the Highland Park, Illinois shooting, has returned home after a months-long battle in hospital.
The child was injured in the Highland Park Independence Day Parade shooting that left seven people dead, with dozens more injured. A bullet passed through Cooper’s upper abdomen and injured his spinal cord, esophagus and abdominal aorta, according to a previous statement from his parents, Jason and Keely Roberts.
After being put on a ventilator, undergoing multiple surgeries and “ongoing daily rehabilitation” from his injuries, Cooper was able to return home, according to a family statement Thursday.
“We are at a loss for words to express how filled with gratitude, love and wholeness we feel as we can finally bring Cooper home,” the family statement read. “Being able to bring Cooper home and our family back together again is an incredible blessing. He’s able to live with his twin brother, Luke, again and be each other’s best playmates again.”
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The family said that at one point they “were desperately and feverishly praying that Cooper would live.”
A GoFundMe for the family raised more than $2 million on Thursday.
Cooper has five siblings, a twin brother and four sisters, as well as a dog, and the family says it’s “special” to have everyone together again.
“Bringing our children together as a brotherly unit and knowing that they can be together when they need or want is so special for us and for Cooper. They held each other standing and going through so much during what was the most horrific time in their lives. They saw, like never before, how much they enriched each other and how much their love for each other is really deep,” the statement read.
The family also acknowledged in the statement that Cooper had “a terribly cruel and unjust path ahead of him.”
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“The transition to caring for Cooper’s extensive medical needs at home rather than in the hospital or rehab clinic is a massive learning curve for all of us. And, now that he’s at the home, Cooper must deal daily with the sadness and grief of acknowledging all the things he has lost,” the statement read.
Cooper won’t be able to do many of the things he was able to do, ranging from sports, playing on the playground, riding his bike, and also won’t be able to access “much of his own home”.
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“Yet we choose to focus on what we have. Cooper is alive and at home, and our adorable, athletic little boy has decided he’s going to find new ways to play sports. Stealing a lyric from a great country song (thanks, Kacey Musgraves), in a joyful and sad moment at the same time, Cooper decided he was going to find new sports to play,” the statement read.
According to Cooper’s parents, the 8-year-old decided to learn wheelchair tennis and has “been on the tennis courts a few times already”.
Cooper’s parents said he had inspired them on this journey and said he was “tough as nails but incredibly sweet”.
“He cares more about the welfare of others than his own. He loves the world…and it is because of the love and prayers that you have all sent him and continue to send him that we believe he continues on the road to recovery. Please continue to pray for our adorable baby boy…we know he will show the world that love does win in the end,” the parents wrote.
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Robert Crimo, 22, was arrested and charged with seven counts of murder, among other counts, following the shooting. There was a manhunt lasting several hours for Crimo after the shooting.
Etienne Straus, 88; Edwardo Uvaldo, 69; Kevin McCarthy, 37; Katherine Goldstein, 64; Irina McCarthy, 35, Jacki Sundheim, 63; and Nicolas Toledo-Zaragoza, 78, are among those who died in the shooting
Fox News’ Audrey Conklin contributed to this report.