Jill Gambill has a favorite picture book of her son, the ballplayer.
"Kai has always had a natural talent with baseball. And he just loves it,” Gambill told Channel 2’s Berndt Petersen.
Kai Hernandez took his first swings at the age of 4, and he was a natural.
But there came a day when something went very wrong.
"When Kai turned 6 years old, he started limping,” his mother said.
Soon after, he couldn’t walk.
Kai was diagnosed with a rare condition called Perthes disease.
His hip bone was disintegrating.
Local doctors referred him to specialists who were 800 miles away.
"Financially, emotionally, physically in carrying him, it’s been very difficult,” Gambill said.
Jill relied on a nonprofit called Miracle Flights, that provided free medical air transportation to get them to and from a hospital in Texas.
After two years of treatment and relying on a wheelchair for mobility, her little ballplayer is back on the field.
"It was amazing. Oh, my gosh. It's so good to play baseball again,” Kai said.
He is grateful to his doctors, and to his mother.
"If she wasn't there with me, I probably couldn't have gotten through anything,” Kai said.
It was a long road.
Mother and son walked it together.
"When he finally was able to take those steps again, it was like returning to normalcy and having my child back,” Jill Gambill said.