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WDAY: The News Leader

Published January 18, 2013, 08:23 PM

A Moorhead elementary school comes together to help a friend

Moorhead, MN (WDAY TV) -- Students at Moorhead's Robert Asp Elementary are learning some valuable lessons this week about caring, and helping a friend.

By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY

Moorhead, MN (WDAY TV) -- Students at Moorhead's Robert Asp Elementary are learning some valuable lessons this week about caring, and helping a friend.

9-year old Joey Zimara continues his recovery at Gillette Children's Hospital in St. Paul after he collapsed while on a train in Montana with family over the holidays.

At first doctors in Denver gave Joey little chance of survival. He had suffered a long lasting seizure on the train, and his body began shutting down.

But there are now good signs of improvement, and support from his friends could help anyone on the mend.

They are calling him Robert Asp's little miracle. After EMT's and nurses saved his life on board that train over Christmas in Montana.

They said no hope.

9 year old Joey Zimara is making dramatic strides, recovering from a yet unkown medical crisis, that nearly killed him.

Margot Zimara/Joey's Grandma: "He's always been a fighter and he is out to show em."

Yeah, it was really tough.

Students and their families at Robert Asp have responded generously, fundraisers including today's "HAND JIVE" FUNDRAISER competition.

More than 500 decorated paper hands the students made and covered school hallways....all in preparation for this. Minutes before school let out...the music started.

Down every hall, the students sat and clapped, all for Joey.

Quietly taking part in all of this has been Joey's twin sister Calista, who acted quickly that day on the train when her brother became so ill and collapsed. All of them today, from Joey's grandparents to his father are grateful the entire school has come out to support them in such a crisis.

Joe Maniglia/Joey's dad: "I think it is great....wonderful."

Bob Zimara/Joey's Grandpa: "Totally awesome, it wasn't requested, a surprise for us."

Margot: "he has come a long way, but he has a long ways to go."

And a fund has been set-up for the family. Donations are being accepted at all Town and Country Credit Unions in the metro area. We have also made a link to his caringbridge site at wday.com, and the easy link tab.

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