EAST HOLLYWOOD (CBSLA.com) — Two things keep Dylan Prunty going: the doctors at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and Legos.
“It’s magical. I never thought that a brick would bring so much happiness to my child,” said Dylan’s mother, Kapka Prunty.
With the help of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the 8-year-old asked for the Lego masters to design a replica of the hospital, complete with a helicopter pad, cafeteria, gift shop and an operating room.
“They saved my life, and we live here,” said Dylan, who had surgery just this week.
Over the past two years, Dylan has spent more time at the hospital than he has at home.
He’s being treated for mitochondrial disease. Mitochondria is responsible for creating 90 percent of the energy the body needs to sustain life.
It presents differently in every child.
For Dylan, his immune and digestive systems don’t work well.
He hasn’t eaten solid food in two years, and he’s plagued by kidney stones.
“Usually, it takes three months to a year for someone to develop a kidney stone. Dylan makes them sometimes in minutes, hours, days. He can pass up to 100 kidney stones a day,” Prunty said.
And that’s where the Legos come in.
“It distracts the pain. It’s like the best pain medicine,” Dylan said.
Dylan’s Lego-building skills have far surpassed his peers. Even his doctors are in awe.
Dylan said he didn’t just wish to build the hospital because he likes Legos.
“So we could raise money for more research,” he said.
Money for research is something Dylan’s doctors said mitochondrial disease desperately needs.
“Consider the number of patients diagnosed with mitochondrial disease and the much larger number of patients that we suspect are there that don’t have a diagnosis yet. The number of dollars per patients is extremely small,” Dr. Richard Boles said. “Mitochondrial disease in children is more common than childhood cancer.”
CBS2’s Kristine Lazar reports that Dylan’s prognosis is unclear. He’s the only know child in the world with his kind of mitochondrial disorder.
His mother said he dreams of living a normal life.
“I wish I could take it all away,” she said.