JOSHUA -- Twelve-year-old Dylan Lummus slept each night in the corner of his father's bedroom.
Dylan has a permanent brain disease called static encephalopathy and hydrocephalus, and his dad, David Lummus, liked to keep a close eye on him. Lately, though, David Lummus wondered whether it was time for his son to have his own bedroom.
But with five children, Lummus had little extra money to renovate their double-wide mobile home. On a whim, he applied for help from A Wish with Wings, an Arlington nonprofit organization that grants wishes to Texas children with life-threatening conditions.
On Saturday, A Wish with Wings and the Hurst construction company Rentenbach surprised the family with a home makeover.
"Oh my God," Lummus said as he pushed his son's wheelchair through the front door.
The old green carpet was gone, replaced with a new light-brown one. Walls were painted, and in some places, wallpaper torn down. New tile covered the bathroom floors. The kitchen had a new dishwasher, new backsplash and freshly stained white cabinets. New light fixtures hung in many rooms. Granite topped a kitchen island.
Volunteers replaced the old roof and closed two leaking skylights. They covered the gravel driveway with fresh concrete and added texture to the wheelchair ramp to prevent Dylan from sliding too fast when he's being pushed.
During rainy season, Lummus said, the tires on Dylan's wheelchair were often caked with mud from the driveway.
The old dining room was converted into a new room for Dylan, with walls painted with red, green and blue birds, and a thick tree trunk.
"This is more than I ever imagined," Lummus said. "I don't know what to say. I'm speechless."
Dylan uses a wheelchair, is fed through a tube and requires constant care. Although he is 12, he functions more like a 6-month-old. His teacher, Sheri Repenning, said he loves being read to and feeling new textures. When she whispers in his ear, his face breaks into a big grin.
Lummus and his girlfriend, Stefanie Cagle, had expected a new room for Dylan and maybe a couple of small repairs.
"They went above and beyond," Lummus said.
The project began when Ken Norton, executive vice president of Rentenbach, wondered what the company should do for Christmas. Rather than throw a Christmas party, employees decided to use the money to help a local family. Norton had worked before with A Wish with Wings and asked the nonprofit organization whether any families needed help. Judy Youngs, the group's executive director, suggested the Lummus family. After Rentenbach met with the family and visited the home, the project took off. Norton and Mike Smith, the company's assistant vice president, recruited several subcontractors to help.
"We decided we wanted to give rather than get this year," Norton said. "This is what Christmas should be about, and this is a little late Christmas spirit."
The family spent the past week at a motel, nervously waiting to go home.
After touring the home Saturday, Lummus said he was taken aback by the improvements.
"This is like a completely new home," he said as he pushed Dylan's wheelchair through the kitchen.
Sarah Bahari, 817-390-7056