Zachary Wilson spent several weeks in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit in Rapid City suffering from a rare and severe form of pneumonia.
Zachary Wilson says, ' I just didn't really feel good at all.'
Petra says, ' They had to put a facemask on him and had to hook him up to a breathing machine and he couldn't eat any longer and they had to put feeding tubes in him.'
After seeing his son in such a vulnerable state -- Zachary's father says that's something he never wants anyone to go through.
Brian Wilson says, ' and I would wish that upon no one,'
While Zachary fought for his life, his younger sister fought her own battle.
Reina Petra says, ' I was really worried that I wasn't going to see my big brother ever again. It was super scary, and I realize he went through a lot but it wasn't the easiest for me either.'
But Zachary proved to be a fighter. Now Zachary is a happy and healthy and ready to be a CMN champion.
Petra says, ' He made it through. He survived. We almost lost him, we were hanging on by a thread for a few days there.'
Today also gave Zachary an opportunity to share his gratitude -- with those who helped nurse him back to health.
Wendy Ashar says, 'It's always great, it is always so rewarding to see because kids are coming in who are so sick. He didn't look this good when he left the hospital but he has made a tremendous amount of progress from where he started and it is really great to see how good he looks today.'
And like any true champion, Zachary got his well-earned medal.