UPDATE (12/12/21): In a tweet Sunday night, Mr. ORNG shared that his father is now awake, alert, and breathing on his own following a crash that left him hospitalized back in October. Mr. ORNG added they still have a long way to go but thanked the community for the continued love and support.
Phoenix Suns superfan "Mr. ORNG" is known for supporting the team and community over the years. Now, he is needing our help as his father finds himself in the hospital.
"That's been the toughest part honestly, you know, just seeing him not be able to speak to us. He's just such a role model and inspiration, to not get a response out of him, I know he can hear us. I just keep remaining positive," says Patrick Battillo, known by Suns fans as "Mr. ORNG."
Sixty-three-year-old Bob Battillo was involved in a crash at 99th and Northern avenues in Peoria. Patrick says police told him it was caused by someone running a red light. The crash happened last Wednesday, the same day as the Suns' season opener. Patrick, who's known for attending every single game in orange from head to toe, instead, rushed to his father's side.
"It was a super emotional day because I went from a high, talking about the first game of the season. It's a feeling you can't replace. Going from that high, to the lowest low I've had, of getting that news and being there with him," says Battillo.
Bob suffered severe head trauma and remains unconscious in the ICU at Banner Thunderbird. The family is already receiving an outpouring of messages of support.
"My brother, William, yesterday took a bunch of those notes, wrote them down, framed them in colored paper, and hung them in my dad's room," says Battillo.
Patrick says he looks up to his father — he's the reason why he volunteers in the community and why he knows the importance of cherishing every moment.
"Those little things that make a big difference, all tie back full circle when you talk about what's bigger than basketball or the Suns...the pieces that matter is life and your family," says Battillo.
As for the apparent red-light runner, police told Patrick that person did remain on the scene after the crash.
No word if any charges have been recommended.
Fundraising efforts are in the works to help Bob with hospital bills and rehabilitation.