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Published February 24 2011

Doctors believe respiratory illness behind Gabbard's collapse

A respiratory illness may be the cause of Zach Gabbard’s Jan. 20 collapse during a basketball game in Glyndon, Minn.

Gabbard, 17, collapsed while playing for his Perham High School team.

On his CaringBridge website Thursday, his family said doctors believe a respiratory infection he had in December may have been the cause of his collapse.

Gabbard has been recovering at a Minneapolis hospital. He sat up by himself Thursday and has been undergoing rehabilitation exercises, the site says. He is able to write answers to some questions and form some small words, the site said.

Gabbard had open heart surgery at Sanford Medical Center in Fargo after his collapse. He has since been diagnosed with serious heart and brain complications, and is in critical condition at the University of Minnesota’s cardio care specialized unit.

“One Clap for Zach,” a fundraiser to benefit Gabbard, is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at Mulligan’s Pub and Eatery in Perham.

The event will feature a silent auction and gun raffle.

Donations can also be mailed to: United Community Bank, 155 2nd St. S.W., Perham, MN 56573.

For more information, visit www.oneclapforzach.com.