PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- When it comes to dedicated Phoenix Suns fans, his streak of orange hair is impossible to miss in the crowd. But there would be no Mr. ORNG without his father.
"A lot of what is in my nature and my family’s nature for giving back, all the work I do in the community as Mr. ORNG for the past 12 years now...comes from who he is as a man," said Patrick Battillo, while talking about his dad.
Battillo is better known as Mr. ORNG. Now the man behind the face paint who's been cheering us up for more than a decade needs help for his father, Bob.
"He was driving home from work; he works overnights," Battillo told Arizona's Family on Tuesday. "And he was hit by someone that ran a red light. Not impaired."
Battillo says the crash happened around 5:30 am last Wednesday near the corner of 99th and Northern Avenues. His father has been in the ICU ever since. "He had an immediate surgery to repair an internal bleed. That was a success, which was great," he said. Battillo says his father has been unconscious since the crash and has been intubated.
Bob was only about a mile from home, Battillo said, heading home from his job as a security guard. Battillo, his brother, and his sister have been by his side non-stop. They are staying as optimistic as possible. They've also left notes of encouragement from the community and photos in Bob's hospital room.
Battillo describes his dad as a warm, kind man who has even won an award for his community service. Bob might not want this attention, but Battillo says the world should know about his big heart. "He's such a lighthearted, funny guy too. He loves music. He can sing," Battillo said. "Way better than I can. Anybody that knows I’ll sing all the time, but it’s awful."
Battillo has a GoFundMe page set up to help with his father's medical costs. Because he has severe brain trauma, it will be a long road to recovery.
Peoria Police tell Arizona's Family impairment did not appear to play a role in the crash. Battillo also wants to remind everyone to be careful on the road. "Please be mindful and careful when you’re driving," Battillo said. "When you’re out, just really think twice. And as a community, we need to do better."