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Father of Mr. ORNG showing progress in car crash recovery

Posted at 10:22 PM, Feb 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-15 00:39:19-05

PHOENIX — The community continues to rally together in support of Phoenix Suns superfan, Mr. ORNG. It's been more than three months since his father was badly hurt in a red light crash.

Suns superfan Mr. ORNG spreads high energy at every game but, he's also facing a personal hardship.

His father remains hospitalized after a crash back in mid-October.

ABC15 has been following his recovery ever since.

"He's getting better. He is still in ICU but we're hoping this week, if everything continues to trend in the right direction, he'll be able to be moved out of ICU to a regular room. Then, hopefully from there - rehab," says Patrick Battillo, Mr. ORNG.

Patrick Battillo, known as Mr. ORNG, has been spending as much time as possible by his father's side the past 117 days, including on Super Bowl Sunday.

"He's acknowledging who I am, being able to respond back to commands, says 'I love you' back, asking him his name and he knows it. For us as a family, those are major wins, when we were told he would be brain dead," says Battillo.

Peoria police continues to investigate the crash that happened at 99th Avenue and Northern, which was caused by a red-light runner.

"Unfortunately, you know - for us, it happened to my father. His life, and our life, are forever changed but, I just pray that people become more aware and conscious," says Battillo.

Patrick tells ABC15 he thinks of his father in everything he does, which has translated into his work. He's even changed how he coaches his basketball players at Peoria High School.

"Yes, we want to win games, but life is bigger than that. So, when they may get frustrated that they are not shooting well or, they made a mistake or, something in their classroom frustrated them… helping them come back to the reality of the situation. As extreme as it is with my dad, you know, things can be way worse," says Battillo.

That is strengthening the team's bond and has resulted in an incredible season. The Peoria Panthers were just named: 2022 4A West Valley Region Champs. The team is now heading into playoffs this week.

Patrick is grateful for the community support.

"Everyone at the games are coming up and asking how my father is doing; they're praying for him. It just means a ton and, the Suns have been beyond supportive," says Battillo.

The community has helped the family with expenses.