A little boy who was left paralyzed below his waist when a gunman attacked a July 4 parade in Highland Park, Illinois, is in desperate need of medical intervention, support — and prayer.
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Cooper Roberts, 8, was briefly upgraded to serious condition over the weekend and was taken off a ventilator. While he briefly regained his ability to speak, the ailing child soon sparked an infection, and his lungs partially collapsed, according to The Daily Beast.
Cooper again turned critical and underwent a very serious surgery Tuesday, further complicating his already difficult situation.
This is reportedly the seventh procedure the child has faced since the shooting unfolded.
Anthony Loizzi, a spokesperson for the Roberts family, addressed these issues in a pre-op Facebook post Tuesday, imploring people to send “any and all prayers.”
“Cooper’s situation is now critical. He just went into a risky extensive, and lengthy surgery to try to again repair his esophagus,” Liozzi wrote. “His fever is spiking due to an infection, and one of his lungs has partially collapsed. Please, any and all prayers are very much needed today.”
Hours later, Liozzi followed up with an encouraging message about Cooper’s five-hour surgery, noting doctors located and closed up the leak in Cooper’s esophagus and said the child continues to fight.
“He is with us and still fighting,” he wrote. “All your prayers are working. Please keep praying. Long road ahead and still very fluid situation, but the little guy made it!”
In addition to prayer, people are encouraged to financially help the Roberts family during this difficult time. A GoFundMe has raised more than $1.4 million of a $1.5 million goal.
“We know their medical bills will be significant, as will the treatments, therapy, and all of the equipment, devices, and adaptations to their home,” the GoFundMe description reads. “Please continue to keep the Roberts family in your thoughts and prayers. Any help you can provide is deeply appreciated.”
Cooper’s mother, Keely Roberts, was also shot in the leg and foot during the horrific July 4 assault, which left seven dead; her other child, Luke, Cooper’s twin, was hit with shrapnel.
Roberts attempted to shield her kids with her body during the assault, according to People.
Keely Roberts said through a statement to Loizzi that Cooper is struggling as doctors race to help him survive and heal. She continues to look for any options that will allow her child to walk again one day.
“You just don’t know the depth of how horrible this is for Cooper,” she told People. “He is so badly hurt physically and emotionally. Beyond horrible.”
Please continue to pray for the Roberts family and others impacted by this horrible tragedy.
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