FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Every child has a dream and Payton Breube dreamed of playing professional baseball.
"That's my passion, that's my true love," said Payton.
But a car accident a few years ago closed that chapter of Payton's life when a distracted driver hit the car he was in with his mom.
They both were rushed to Community Regional Medical Center and left in critical condition.
"One of the most traumatic experiences I've ever experienced in my life," said Payton.
"I literally said don't touch me if my son is not going to live I don't want to live either," said Payton's mom.
Payton immediately went through a five-hour surgery, repairing a torn aorta which carries blood from the heart to the rest of the body.
His recovery took months but for Payton, the biggest blow was giving up what he loved.
"He asked me, 'Why did Doctor Bilello save my life? Why didn't he just let me die if I can't play baseball?'" said Payton's mom.
That doctor is pediatric surgeon John Bilello.
He worked closely with Payton to get him healthy again.
Even signing off for this ballplayer to return to the diamond with protective gear.
"I feel like I have a purpose when we pass on a good life to someone, especially when they are young," said Dr. Bilello.
On Thursday, Payton and his mom surprised Dr. Biello with Community's first "Care Hero" award for giving him hope and a future after a devastating setback.
And Payton even got a special surprise too.
A signed ball from his favorite Texas Rangers player, Hunter Pence.
The shock was written all over his face but the excitement of what lies ahead he feels came from the man and medical staff who gave him a second chance at life.
"That was the best thing he could have ever done for me. I can't thank them enough they've done everything for me," said Payton.
CRMC doctor receives award for dedication to helping patient achieve his dream
More TOP STORIES News