Journal entry by Becca Zarembinski

Hi everyone, 

It has been a crazy past few days. Yesterday, November 13th Zach was released from the hospital! He spent a total of 17 days in the hospital. Although that seems like a long time, for having a traumatic brain injury Zach's stay in the hospital was fairly short. We were thrilled that the doctors and therapists said it would be safe for him to come home. Zach has been able to get much better rest at home. He has been resting and healing his brain. Today he went up to Hill-Murray with my parents to retrieve some items from his locker. While doing so there happened to be a pep-fest going on. Zach was able to say hi to all the students and thank them for their support. Although he is not back in school yet, the students seemed thrilled to see him! Zach will continue to have various appointments and outpatient therapy sessions until he is strong enough to slowly return to school. 

Zach is living proof that love, prayers and medicine works. He is a walking miracle and we cant thank God and all the other supporters for everything they have done. 

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Journal entry by Becca Zarembinski

Zach has been doing so well! He is fully awake and aware of what is going on. He has been doing great at physical, occupational and speech therapy. Zach is able to walk and is just getting his strength and stamina back. He is back on a regular diet and is able to eat whatever he desires. Zach is getting a bit antsy to get out of the hospital but we have to reassure him to be patient. As of now we aren’t sure when he will be released. He still has to take and pass a few tests which will determine his cognitive abilities. There have been lots of visitors and he has loved their company. This has been a miracle recovery and we are all in awe of Zach’s strength during this time! Each and every day seeing his improvements amazes me. 

Zach asked me to thank everyone for their prayers and the donations. He also wanted to say the support has been amazing and is helping him get through this! 

Journal entry by Becca Zarembinski

Zach has made great progress in the past two days. Yesturday he was walking! How exciting is that? He looked great and even had a smile on his face while doing so. Today they have moved Zach out of the ICU and into a new room on a new floor. He continues to impress all of us with his determination. Sister Linda visited yesturday and asked Zach what he wanted to tell the students back at Hill-Murray, he said “Tell them I love them”. Zach, my family and I are so thankful for everyone and their well wishes. God is so good. 

Journal entry by Becca Zarembinski

Today was a great day. Zach was much more coherent and asking questions about what is going on. We read him a few cards that he has gotten and the newspaper article regarding the mass held at Hill-Murray. He was fascinated by the support he has gotten from a tremendous amount of people throughout this tough time. He enjoyed seeing a few visitors today, such as some family members and Father Kevin. It is SO amazing to hear Zach talk and see his smile again. My Dad said every time that he went into Zach's room, Zach would look at back at my Dad and smile. Hearing this melts my heart. 

When physical therapy came by, Zach was able to stand up with assistance and move to a chair in his room. He felt a little light headed when doing this task. This is normal because of the lack of activity he has had in the past week. Zach was able to eat again today. Even though it's a small amount of food, it still is great for his body to get back into a normal routine. Each day he is getting stronger and this is such an incredible thing to watch. He is such a fighter! As mentioned yesterday we still are only scratching the surface of his recovery. He still has a long road ahead of him, but he is pointed in the right direction! 

We are so thankful for everyones thoughts and prayers. We also would like to mention how amazing the staff have been at Regions hospital. The care they have been providing Zach with has been outstanding! 

Journal entry by Becca Zarembinski

Today Zach had another positive step forward in his recovery, he was able to mutter some words to us and the doctors. Today he was much more awake than we have seen. They were able to give him a few bites of food and some water. Zach will remain on oxygen throughout the day and night to make sure he is getting enough oxygen to his brain. Zach remains in a fragile state of recovery and is still very confused about what is going on and his accident. The doctors said that we have only scratched the surface with starting his recovery. Baby steps are important. We are grateful for each day he can tackle a new task. 

Journal entry by Becca Zarembinski

Today was a positive step forward for Zach. They weened him from the breathing tubes and successfully removed them. They moved him to a bipap mask and he has been able to breath with the mask all day. However, he will stay in the ICU until he is ready for further action. The doctors and nurses are being very cautious with Zach as he is in this fragile state. Zach is a fighter and we can see his physical and emotional strengths shining through. He was able to start talking a little today. They are trying to find a balance with medication for him to be comfortable and without pain while staying alert and not too sedated. He seemed fairly agitated this evening, so they are going to try and keep him comfortable for the night. Please continue to pray for my little brother. My family and I can't say it enough how thankful we are for the enormous amounts of support. God bless. 

Journal entry by Becca Zarembinski

Hi everyone, 

I am doing my best to update this site but there often aren't that many updates. Like I said a few days ago, no news is good news! Zach remains in stable conditions. He is still on pain medication which makes him pretty sleepy, but he is able to wake up and look around for short periods of time. The past two days they have been seeing if he can breath on his own. The breathing tubes are still in, but he has been breathing through the tubes with no assistance. Yesterday he was breathing on his own for 8 hours. This process allows his lungs to get stronger and gives him a better chance to have a successful extubation (removal of breathing tubes). While being in the hospital we found out that Zach has sleep apnea. For those of you don't know, sleep apnea is a medical condition that disrupts your breathing when you are sleeping. This is causing issues with the extubation process, because those with sleep apnea often don't get enough oxygen into their body. The doctors will work through these barriers. The goal today is for him to move into a chair. Tomorrow they hope to succesfully extubate him. 

The support has been wonderful. Sister Linda (the football teams spiritual mentor) came down to pray with my family and I today which always brings hope. Coach Bercich has been extremely supportive as well as other family and friends. As of now, we are trying to keep visitors out of Zach's room. We appreciate all your prayers and thoughts. 

God promises to make something good out of the storms that bring devastation to your life. Romans 8:28

Journal entry by Becca Zarembinski

Zach is still on the ventilator. Doctors are being very cautious when reconsidering to remove the breathing tube. His pneumonia is clearing up which is great news. But, they will give him a few more days to rest his brain for the best chance for doctors to successfully remove the breathing tube without breathing issues. We just have to take it one day at a time. 

We are so touched by the overwhelming generosity and kindness of so many who have helped our family over the last week as we pray for Zach’s healing.  Please accept our deepest gratitude for your effort, no matter how small, in helping Zach get well.  Your assistance helps us in so many ways that you don’t even know.  Thank you to the Wright family for creating the gofundme page for Zach.  The response has been incredible, and we are so grateful.  A benefit account also has been set up at Premier Banks, and our family will receive 100% of the funds delivered directly to Premier Banks.  If you are considering this option, checks should be made payable to Dan or Tracy Zarembinski, and mailed or delivered to:

Premier Banks
Attn: Zarembinski Family Benefit Fund
2866 White Bear Ave.Maplewood, MN  55109


 Thanks again for holding us in your thoughts and prayers.  We feel them, and we know they are working.


Journal entry by Becca Zarembinski

Mass went really well. Durning the mass we got a text message that the breathing tube was removed and he was breathing well on his own. That was amazing. Unfortunately, about two hours later he wasn't doing so well and they had to sedate and re-intubate him. He wasn't ready for the breathing tubes to be out. There wasn't enough carbon dioxide being exhaled out of his body which is problematic. They are going to try and take a more aggressive approach to cure the pneumonia. His lungs were not healthy enough for to breathe on his own. The doctors are still hopeful with his progress. As we mentioned this is a marathon and not a sprint. There may be setbacks along the way but we know what a fighter he is. Today during mass Father Kevin made a great analogy about quicksand. When walking through quicksand you walk with two by your side and if one begins to sink you quickly pull them back up. You can not walk through quicksand alone and we can't do this alone. Your continued prayers and support is what is pulling my family and I out of the quicksand. Unfortunately he still can't take visitors, but it was evident today that he can feel you praying and sending your love from wherever you are. 

At mass I had the opportunity to speak to the audience. I thought I would attach what I said so if you weren't able to be there you could read what I had to say. 

My name is Becca Zarembinski I am Zach’s sister. I am a 2015 graduate from Hill-Murray. My parents aren’t able to be here today because they are with Zach. But on behalf of my family I want to take some time and thank everyone for all the support, prayers and fundraising efforts that have been made. I would like to expand on this and thank Laura Henn, Dr.Hofkens , the referees, paramedics and the police officer on the field. The police officer did a great job clearing the field for the ambulance to come with no obstacles in its way. Within minutes they had Zach secured on the stretcher and loaded into the ambulance. The trauma team was waiting for Zach to arrive at the hospital. Within an hour of Zach going down on the sidelines they had his results from the CT scan and he was immediately rushed into surgery. Zach received an emergency craniotomy where they removed the blood clot and this allowed room for the brain to swell.  I truly believe that because of the quickness of the first responders and trauma team, this is what saved Zach’s life. As of now the Doctors are unsure of the direct cause of his brain bleed. Coaches looked at film and there was no significant blow to his head. We may never know what caused his injury.

Although Zach and I have our moments, he is an amazing little brother. I can’t wait for him to get better so I can give him the biggest hug. For those of you who don’t know Zach, he is the most kind-hearted kid I know. If you could see the way he treats my grandparents you would completely understand what I mean. He also is the strongest kid I know. Both physically and mentally. Mentally he can get through anything. He is a follow of Jesus Christ and is always there to cheer up his friends and family. Physically he is a beast. He can squat over 500 pounds. I don’t know about you but that is crazy to me. I am just so proud of how hard he worked in the off season to get strong and in shape for his senior year. He earned respect of his coaches and teammates and that shows a lot of character. I am 100% convinced this work ethic is going to translate to his recovery.

The love and support we feel from the Hill-Murray family, clergy , other sports communities, and even complete strangers is astounding.  Willi Bosch is a hill Murray alumni and also suffered from a traumatic brain injury. His mother Mary, has been amazing. She has provided us with comfort and support by sharing her recent experience with Willi. Just moments ago while we are here praying, we received a text that they have successfully removed the breathing tube. That is not just a coincidence, he can feel our prayers.

As tough as it is we need to remember this is a marathon and not a sprint the gates have just open for Zach and his recovery. I will continue to update everyone with the caring bridge website as much as I can. We are trying to be as upfront and honest on there as possible.  We know you are all eager to hear Zach’s progress. Thank you again to everyone. There are no words to explain how thankful we are. Please continue to pray for Zach and his recovery. God is so good.

ZZStrong  #72

Journal entry by Becca Zarembinski

Happy Halloween! 

Zach has still been stable but remains in the ICU in critical conditions. The pressure in his brain has remained stable since surgery which is great news! Today a physical therapist came by his room to work on his range of motion in his limbs. His eyes were shut the whole time but you could see his muscles trying to fire. When some of the visitors walk into the room he opens his eyes right away. He seems more alert. Breathing is still a bit of an issue for him. At one point he was breathing on his own, but the breathing tubes were still in. He is now getting a bit of assistance with the breathing tubes. The doctors will try again to remove the breathing tubes tomorrow. Right now, no news is good news. Thanks for following Zach on his journey to recovery. God Bless.
We are excited to celebrate tomorrow at mass and pray with the Hill-Murray community. 


Journal entry by Tracy Zarembinski

Zach was playing football on Saturday, October 28th, 2018 when he suffered an injury resulting in a brain bleed on his left side. He was taken by ambulance to a local Hospital where he received an emergency craniotomy to remove the left side of his skull to allow his brain to swell. He immediately responded positively. He stayed stable overnight. 

We we are grateful to be here getting this care. We are grateful for your love and support. We are unable to respond to you all or accept visitors right now, but we will use this site to keep you updated. Please continue to pray for Zach. We need all hands on deck for this one.
Zachary’s Story

Site created on October 28, 2018

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