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Kirk Herbstreit says son Zak dealing with heart issues: ‘He’s in good spirits’

Victoria Hernandez

Kirk Herbstreit revealed Thursday that his son Zak is experiencing a problem with his heart. The college football analyst gave more insight into Zak’s recent hospitalization on “The Pat McAfee Show” and said the Buckeyes tight end is now at home resting.

“The last five or six days have been kind of a whirlwind,” the father said. “He’s been in the hospital with some issues with his heart. We’ve just been trying to keep up with that.”

Herbstreit said that even though the Ohio State tight end is home, there’s still a journey to treating Zak’s heart. The family is going on short walks — “down the street and back” — as part of his recovery process.

“He’s in good spirits, he’s home with us where his mom can take really good care of him,” he said. “This is just gonna be a long process to kind of see how his heart responds to some of the medications that he’s on. This is a three or four month kinda thing to kinda see how it recovers. But the key is being patient and positive.”

Zak is the third of four sons Herbstreit has with his wife, Allison.

The former Buckeyes quarterback said Zak’s hospitalization “came out of nowhere” and explained how an echocardiogram helped diagnose the heart condition, though he didn’t specify the problem. Initial tests suggested Zak had pneumonia because it appeared he had fluid in his lungs, but further testing revealed otherwise.

“I really would encourage anybody who’s playing sports to go a little bit more than just doing your normal physical or even EKG wiring, that’s not really enough,” Kirk Herbstreit said. “The echo is what you really need to discover some things that potentially can be scary. We’re very fortunate that he got the echo and found some stuff. … He had very few symptoms. You would never know that he was dealing with what he’s dealing with.”

Herbstreit, who served as the color analyst for Amazon Prime’s “Thursday Night Football” last season on top of his ESPN college football duties, expressed his gratitude for the many people who have shown their support to the family.

“You can’t even imagine the amount of people that have reached out and are concerned about him,” he said. “So yeah, to everybody that has reached out, we really appreciate that and feel that wholeheartedly.”

Kirk Herbstreit says son Zak dealing with heart issues: ‘He’s in good spirits’
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