WDAY: The News Leader

Published March 03, 2011, 01:46 PM

Perham's Gabbard Continues Recovery; Doc Says Heart 'Fully Recovered'

Zach Gabbard, 17, a junior on the Perham, MN, High School basketball team continues to recover in a Minneapolis hospital after collapsing during a game on January 20th.

“Zach is working hard every day at physical therapy and getting better so he can rejoin his classmates and his teammates in Perham. Zach’s desire to play basketball again is motivating him as he undertakes this incredibly difficult training,” Zach's family said through a hospital release.

Gabbard is in the cardiovascular intensive care unit at the University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview.

Zach's doctor, Ranjit John said that he has made progress over the past several weeks, noting that when Zach first arrived, he was critically ill and required heart assist devices to keep him alive. "(Gabbard) has made significant strides to a point in which his heart has fully recovered. He is close to being ready to be discharged from the hospital to a rehab facility," John said.

A week ago, over 1,110 people attended a fundraiser at Mulligan's Pub in Perham. Over $67,000 was raised for the Gabbard family in a little over five hours.

A fund has been establish to further cover costs not covered by insurance. Checks can be made out to “The Zach Gabbard Fund” and mailed to United Community Bank, 155 Second St SW, Perham Minnesota 56573.

The community is asked to send notes to Zach and his family through his CaringBridge website.

Well wishers are hosting a fundraiser this Sunday, March 6th in New Hope. The family has posted information about the fundraiser on their CaringBridge page. They are not able to attend.