Eight-year-old Cooler Roberts, who was paralyzed in the Highland Park Fourth of July parade mass shooting, is "still fighting," according to his family, after undergoing urgent esophagus surgery.
"The doctors were able to find and close the leak. This is a good outcome—Cooper is still fighting! His condition is being closely monitored and the next days will be critical to ensure that he responds positively," family spokesman Anthony Loizzi said in a statement Tuesday.
Earlier in the day Tuesday, the Roberts family said the young boy was in critical condition due to a partially collapsed lung, and had taken steps backward in recovery.
"Cooper is currently is spiking a fever and an elevated heart rate due to a new infection, which is being treated with medication," Loizzi said Tuesday afternoon.
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Cooper, who is under a care of doctors at Comer Children's Hospital in Chicago, had previously been upgraded to serious condition, but on Monday underwent a procedure to address damage to his esophagus which revealed tear in Cooper’s esophagus has reopened.
"As a result, he is facing an urgent, complex, and lengthy surgery today to again attempt to repair his torn esophagus," Loizzi's statement from Tuesday afternoon continued.
"This is his seventh surgery and is of particularly high risk given his age and current condition."
Cooper was attending the Fourth of July parade with his twin brother, mother and father when a gunman fired more than 70 rounds into the crowd. Cooper was struck in the abdomen and has suffered significant injuries, including a severed spinal cord, Loizzi previously said. He is currently paralyzed from the waist down.
"He is in a great deal of pain – physically and emotionally – especially as the family had to share with him the devastating news that he is paralyzed from the waist down," a statement from Loizzi read over the weekend.
Cooper Roberts's mother, Zion Elementary School District 6 Superintendent Keely Roberts, and his twin brother Luke, were also struck by gunfire and injured in the shooting.
His mother was struck in the foot and leg area, underwent several surgeries and was released from the hospital at her request so she could be by her son's side, Loizzi said. Cooper Roberts brother, Luke Roberts, suffered injuries from shrapnel and was released from the hospital.
"The family wishes to acknowledge and thank the many, many people – emergency medics, police, fire department, nurses and doctors at both hospitals -- who did extraordinary things to save Cooper’s life," a weekend statement from the family read.
"It was a true miracle. And to thank from the bottom of their hearts the thousands who have prayed, sent gifts, supported the family in myriad ways and donated to the Go Fund Me campaign for Cooper’s long-term care:"