Mr. ORNG’s father making progress after car crash in October
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- As a Phoenix Suns superfan, basketball is certainly Mr. ORNG’s bread and butter. But in his first stint as a high school volleyball coach, life and sports have been put into perspective.
“Yeah, we go out there to compete, but at the end of the day, win or lose, we’re able to wake up in the morning, be healthy and go compete,” said Mr. ORNG, whose name is Patrick Battillo.
This season Battillo has learned life can change in the blink of an eye. His father, Bob, is still recovering from a car crash last October, which happened to be on the Suns’ season opener. Battillo says his dad was driving home from work when a red-light runner hit him in the Valley. When Arizona’s Family first spoke to Battillo about it, Bob was in a coma, and doctors only gave him a 5% chance to survive. While Bob is still on a ventilator and his organs are recovering, Bob’s brain activity is back. Patrick says he’s responsive and alert. “He’s had 19 operations total…overall. And counting,” Battillo said.
As the Suns remain the top team in the league, Battillo goes to the hospital as often as he can. He even shows up to the hospital in his famous orange face paint. “I can just see him light up. Right? So he can’t speak, but just his eyes. And I’m like, ‘hey dad, how are you?” Battillo said.
In his 12th season as Mr. ORNG, closely watching his father’s progress and the Suns has been a blessing for Battillo. “We have our stars, starters, whoever it is, go out, and the next man up steps up,” he said. “And what Monty Williams has put together and just a true brotherhood and a cohesion.”
In addition to basketball, Battillo took on another coaching job this year as a way to give back to young people. His father may have a long road ahead, but Battillo cherishes every moment.
“Life is bigger than basketball. Life is bigger than a sport. And family comes first. So when there’s a situation or someone’s ill or they have a sick family member, and they’re like ‘I don’t know, coach.’ No. Go take your time.”
Battillo says thank you is not enough for the community that has been so supportive, from sending messages of encouragement on social media to donating to his father’s GoFundMe.
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