Autistic man searching for lost prized posession

Published: Jul. 9, 2018 at 11:33 PM EDT
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Sometimes the small things can mean everything and that's the case for a man battling autism, who lost a cherished possession.

Dustin Hart is a 21-year-old man who was diagnosed with autism when he was only a baby.

Over the weekend, he lost a doll that was more than just a plush toy.

Dustin has been on a mission to find his best friend “Emmy".

"It's been really really rough these past couple days,” Angela Hart, Dustin’s mother, said.

His best friend comes in the form of a soft doll from the kids' show "Dragon Tales."

"He's always looking for these little plush friends because he doesn't have friends. It's kinda hard for Dustin to make friends so they are his friends. When they go missing, it's a huge, huge problem,” Angela Hart said.

Dustin and his mom, Angela were visiting the Lake City Flea Market near the fairgrounds this weekend, when all of a sudden the toy was nowhere to be found.

"I went back to retrace our steps and I couldn't find her anywhere and of course he was just completely crushed,” Angela Hart said.

She also says her son has the mentality of a three to five-year-old child.

"It's already been a challenge with him already but with this, it's very challenging because I can't make him understand what's going on,” she said.

Angela took to Facebook in hopes of someone finding the doll.

"I just want to say thank you, thank you, it means the world to me that everybody has been in my quarter because this has been a very hard thing,” she said.

Within a few days of posting, a young woman from Gainesville reached out saying she would be willing to give Dustin an exact replica of the doll.

Angela and Dustin will be driving to Gainesville in the next few days to pick up the replica of his missing doll.

His mother says he's been jumping up and down with excitement since he found out.