Kooper Hernandez’s left leg was amputated days after he broke his leg but the 5-year-old from Jarrell refuses to let it slow him down.
Kooper broke his leg last summer and was rushed to a Georgetown hospital but later moved to Dell Children’s Medical Center in Austin.
“When the doctor came out he was white in the face,” said Kooper’s mother Mindee Hernandez.
Kooper was placed in a cast from the waist down and days later the only option was amputation.
“The whole femur was cancer,” Mindee said.
Kooper’s leg was amputated but days later he was on the football field, performing the coin toss before Jarrell’s game against Thorndale.
“He’s got the strength of a mountain,” said Kooper’s father Jon Hernandez. “He just doesn’t allow it to slow him down.”
As Kooper underwent chemotherapy to eliminate the osteosarcoma, he picked up the nickname “Sooper Kooper,” similar to the heroes he plays with.
There’s also a real-life super hero in Kooper’s life: UT pitcher Morgan Cooper, who is also from Jarrell.
“He’s always called me his best friend,” Morgan said. “It’s really special.”
Kooper enjoys calling the pitcher Cooper Morgan.
“Started when we were in the (College) World Series. He wanted me and him to have the same first name,” Morgan said.
Kooper hopes to experience a special moment with Morgan while wearing a UT baseball cap.
“First pitch,” Kooper said.
Sooper Kooper hopes to throw out the ceremonial first pitch before a Longhorns baseball game with Morgan by his side.
“It would be awesome just to be able to show him he can do things still even it’s a first pitch, even it’s with one leg,” Mindee said.
Since Kooper’s interview with KVUE’s Shawn Clynch, he has completed his chemotherapy and has been fitted with a prosthetic leg.
Go here to learn more about osteosarcoma from the American Cancer Society.
Watch @KVUESports at 6:30 p.m. April 9 for the extended story.