SAN ANTONIO – Kelly Olynyk remembers a lot of things about visiting 6-year-old Dylan Lumm of Loxahatchee Monday at the Holtz Children’s Hospital at Jackson Medical Center.
And one of the things that stood out. … Dylan’s hair.
And if anybody on the Heat can appreciate hair it’s Olynyk with his shoulder length locks.
“I told him, he has great hair,” Olynk said today. “He has great flow.”
Heat players, dancers and mascot distributed toys and other gifts to patients at Baptist Children’s Hospital and Holtz Children’s Hospital. Dylan was diagnosed in 2015 with a malfunction of the portal vein, which receives blood from the spleen, pancreas, and gallbladder and carries that blood to the liver. He has had two surgeries, the most recent in 2016 to remove his spleen. But the veins continue to burst unexpectedly causing massive internal bleeding.
And if anybody needed a pick-me-up from having spent about eight months of the last two years in the hospital, it was Dylan.
“He’s been pretty upset about being in the hospital,” said Mike Lumm, Dylan’s dad. “He was pretty sad and not talkative at all (Monday).”
But that all changed when the Heat’s 7-foot center walked into the room wearing a stocking cap and carrying a big bag of toys.
“He was excited to see him,” Mike said. “He came in and shook his hand and came with a big bag of toys, lots of stuff.”
The visit changed Dylan’s outlook for the day. And that is not something Olynyk took for granted.
“It’s really tough to go to a hospital and see especially kids of that age almost down and out in terms of their spirit and their mood and their optimism,” Olynyk said today before the Heat’s game at the Spurs. “And if you can go in there and brighten someone’s day, put a smile on their face. … If you have that power I feel like it’s something you should use.
“I probably spent three minutes with him. The lasting impact that makes and just the positive vibes and energy that can put into his life and his day, maybe that just makes his life a little bit easier to live and he can get through something he otherwise may not have been able to fight through.”
Mike Lumm was more appreciative because Olynyk was allowed to visit Dylan in intensive care where “they didn’t let a lot of people in.”
“It was super nice they brought him into the emergency side and it’s amazing he could take time out of his busy day to bring presents to the kids,” Mike said.
Olynyk smiled when told about how much he impacted Dylan’s day.
“That’s what life’s all about,” he said. “If you can make somebody’s day, not everybody has that ability and if you have it then it’s something that you can go through this world and leave a lasting impact.
“You try to live your life making a positive impact on the world around you whether that’s environmentally or person to person, whatever it is. If you can do more positive than negative in the world then you’ve done a good thing for that day.”
Dylan watches the Heat but has never been to a game.
“That would be amazing some time,” Mike said when asked what it would mean to Dylan if he could attend a game. “He would love it. That would be incredible.”