LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A boy suffering from a kidney disease is bringing holiday cheer to other patients with his unique gift of creativity.
Dylan Prunty, 8, first came into the spotlight in July, when he constructed a replica of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles using Legos. Prunty, who is being treated for mitochondrial disease and had spent more time in the hospital than he had at home, had undergone surgery the same week he built the replica.
While that replica was meant as a tribute to the doctors and nurses who helped keep him alive, Prunty also credits the activity itself with helping his mental and physical state.
A few months ago, Dylan learned he would spend Christmas in the hospital, where he has now been for six months.
“He said, ‘We can’t go home, can we?’ and I said, ‘No we can’t; we’re stuck here,’ ” Dylan’s mother Kapka Prunty said. “And he said ‘Well, we can make it fun’, and I said, ‘Well, what would make you happy?’ ”
Dylan’s answer was to hold a Lego toy drive with the goal of giving each of the 350 patients at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles a Lego set.
That goal was reached and surpassed.
“Since it helped me with my pain, I thought maybe it would help kids with their pain and put a smile on their face,” Dylan said.
Dylan then hand-picked a set for each of the patients, who were as surprised as they were grateful.
Dylan was able only to greet his fellow patients with a wave from his assisting chair in the hallway, since he remains in isolation.
“I don’t expect him to give me gifts, but it’s a good thing,” patient Alejandro Ortega said.
However, patients were not the only ones touched by Dylan’s holiday spirit.
“The nurses say that he inspires them,” Kapka said. “The doctors say the same thing. They say that he’s their hero. And he’s my hero.”
While the hope remains that Dylan will be able to spend Christmas at home next year, he says he would continue the toy drive.
“It made me feel like Santa.”