11-year-old soccer player remains in coma after cardiac arrest at game

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PROVO — It's been six weeks since Utah State University basketball player Danny Berger collapsed during a practice. As shocking as it was to see someone so physically fit succumb to a cardiac problem, it has happened again to another Utah athlete: 11-year-old Alan Zapata.

Zapata is still in a coma at Primary Children's Medical Center after suffering a cardiac arrest four days ago during an indoor soccer game. His family has said he didn't have any pre-existing conditions, and they're still waiting to hear what caused him to collapse.

"Now that I see him in bed, I just feel like I should have spent more time with him," said friend Benjamin Ortiz.

Alan asked to be subbed out during the game during the game, saying he had a headache.

"And then he went down, started breathing fast, and then suddenly stopped breathing at all," said coach Ludwig Sanchez.

He had gone into cardiac arrest. Coaches performed CPR until paramedics arrived. He was taken to the emergency before being airlifted to Primary Children's Medical Center.

Now that I see him in bed, I just feel like I should have spent more time with him.

–Benjamin Ortiz.

"I've been here ever since the first three days, day and night," Sanchez said.

Without a concrete answer, teammates, friends and family must wait.

More tests will come Monday, but each one is another bill that his family cannot afford. Alan doesn't have medical insurance. But he does have a community of strong support.

People interested in helping to pay for Alan's medical bills can donate at any Wells Fargo bank under the name "Utah Futbol Club Alan Zapata donation," a fund set up by friends of the family.*

* Disclaimer: ksl.com has not verified the accuracy of the information provided with respect to the account nor does ksl.com assure that the monies deposited will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit or donation you should consult your own advisors and otherwise proceed at your own risk.


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