After spending nearly a month undergoing multiple surgeries and treatments, Cooper Roberts, the 8-year-old boy who was paralyzed in the July 4 parade shooting in Highland Park, has started physical therapy and expects to enter third grade in the fall, his family said in a press release.
Since leaving the pediatric intensive care unit of a Chicago hospital last week, Cooper has been participating in daily physical and occupational therapy to help him regain strength and build mobility, according to a press release.
Cooper is expected to remain in in-patient rehabilitation services for six-to-12 weeks.
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Following his occupational therapy, Cooper will head to third grade with his twin brother, Luke. Going to school is "a huge motivation" for Cooper, according to his family, as they said he is excited to see his friends.
The family said Cooper will likely go to school for half of the day and participate in long-term outpatient therapy for the other part of the day.
Both Cooper and Luke are partaking in private mental health services to support them as they heal emotionally and physiologically, the family said.
Last Monday, Cooper was also able to visit his dog, George, for the first time since the shooting, which was "a happy reunion for them both," the family said.
“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 is eventually able to return home,” the family said in a statement.
More than $1.7 million has been raised for Cooper's recovery via a GoFundMe page, according to the family.
A card-drive initiative has also been launched for supporters to send get-well messages to the boy.
Sen. Julie Morrison, who is running for re-election this fall, is heading the collection of cards to show support for Cooper and his family, she said.
Cards can be sent to or dropped off at 43 Highwood Ave. in Highwood.