No Place Like It: 8-Year-Old Shooting Survivor Cooper Roberts Returns Home, Fundraiser Scheduled for Oct. 16

Cooper Roberts’ long road to recovery has reached a significant milemarker: home. 

A survivor of the July 4th shooting in Highland Park, the 8-year-old moved back to his Highland Park home with his parents; four sisters; twin brother, Luke; and French bulldog puppy, George. 

Over the past nearly three months, Cooper has endured emergency surgeries, followup procedures, and hours of personal and physical therapy to treat a gunshot wound that severed his spinal cord. 

Cooper’s parents, Jason and Keely, announced the move in a statement issued Thursday, Sept. 22.

“We are at a total loss of words to express how filled with gratitude, love and wholeness we now feel given that we are able to finally have Cooper back at home,” they wrote. “There was a time, not all that long ago, where we were desperately and feverishly praying just for Cooper to live. To be able to have Cooper home and our family all reunited together again is such an amazing blessing.”

Cooper’s long road, of course, continues as many of his medical and therapeutic needs must now be administered at home instead of a hospital or clinic. 

He must also navigate his world using a wheelchair, but the sports lover has already found a way to get back in the game.

His family says Cooper has taken on wheelchair tennis and most likely won’t stop there.

Cooper plays a shot back over the net in one of his first tries at wheelchair tennis.

“He has already been to the tennis courts a couple times!,” they wrote. “He and Luke are each excited to really learn to play the game and will hopefully play both together and individually for years to come. We have no doubt Cooper will be wicked awesome at tennis … and any other sport he decides to play. It will just be different.”

The fundraiser for the Roberts family has raised more than $2 million, and the family increased the goal to $2.25 million in the hopes of gaining support for at-home solutions to the family’s “new normal.”

Aiding in the fundraising effort, Whiskey River Bar and Grill’s annual fundraiser is dedicated to Cooper this year in support of his ongoing medical needs. The event — set for 1-6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 16, at the Glenview restaurant, 1850 Waukegan Road — will feature music, a magic show, face-painters, a tie-dye station, raffles and much more. Entry for kids 9 and younger is free, and for everyone 10 and older, it is $20. A portion of proceeds from the day’s sales also benefit Cooper.

“That little boy just tugs at our heartstrings,” owner Kathy Karowsky said.


This article originally appeared in The Record North Shore, a local news nonprofit.


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