Vetter David is a "bubble boy" made famous by his constant media attention. He was born in 1971 and died in 1984, having spent all of his 12 years in an isolated and completely sterile plastic bladder due to a rare genetic disease called Severe Combined Immunodeficiency Syndrome.
The husband and wife of Vetters David Joseph and Carol Ann, who live in the city of Houston, Texas, USA, had their first son with a rare genetic disorder - a defect in the thymus gland, which prevented the child from developing its own immunity. This baby died at the age of seven months, and doctors warned the spouses that the likelihood of the same defect in the next child is about 50 percent. Moreover, the couple already had a daughter, Katrina, an absolutely healthy girl.
But medical scientists from the Texas Medical Center at the same time assured the Vetters that it was possible to isolate their child from any external influences, and then heal him. Simply put, place the patient in a sterile environment and prevent him from getting infected with anything, since any even weak virus kills a person with this disease due to lack of immunity. Subsequently, it was supposed to prolong the life of the child with the help of bone marrow transplants from Katrina, which should help form his own immunity.
The doctors themselves were interested in observing such a patient, and Carol and David simply dreamed of a son. Thus was born the idea of a curious and very cruel experiment that lasted 12 years.
Birth and life of David
The vetters decided on a third pregnancy, and for the birth of the baby, Baylor College doctors prepared a plastic cocoon with absolutely sterile air, where the newborn David was moved. He was baptized with sterilized holy water and sealed in an airtight "bubble" in less than ten seconds.
Soon, doctors and parents were awaited by unexpected, terrible news - Katrina cannot be a donor for a little brother, which means that he is doomed to live in a plastic cocoon all his life. The boy grew up, all manipulations were carried out with careful care through special gloves in the walls of the cocoon, and soon it was necessary to equip more space for him.
The noise of the motors keeping the "bubble" in "working" condition, endless analyzes and examinations, repeated processing of everything that got inside the cocoon - in such conditions David lived, not knowing what could be otherwise. He willingly talked with his parents, watched TV, and at the age of three a whole hospital ward was equipped for him with the same conditions. And now he could play, be creative and look out the window. And soon they will spend some time at their parents' house, in the same cocoon specially equipped in the house.
At the age of four, he learned how to make holes in the walls of the bladder, and then doctors, psychotherapists and parents, together, explained to the boy what his illness was. David realized that he was doomed to live in this transparent cage. From then on, he had nightmares about germs. Everyone tried to bring something good to the child's life, to make it normal, and the media created the image of a happy and healthy boy who just lives a little differently than others.
As the years passed, there was no hope for treatment, and David began to change. In 1974, professionals from NASA created a real spacesuit for the boy, which would allow him to live outside his cage. But he did not show much interest in the costume, although he used it for a while. As David grew out of him, he was offered a new, improved model, which he refused to wear. He became more and more aggressive and unpredictable, and the government demanded to cut funding for the "bubble", which had already spent more than one and a half million dollars.
Three doctors, who proposed the experiment itself, nevertheless decided to carry out a bone marrow transplant from their sister, especially since by that time such operations were carried out successfully, even with incomplete donor compatibility. But Katrina's donor material contained the "sleeping" Epstein-Barr virus, which, once in the boy's body, instantly began to spread without encountering any resistance, and literally in a month created hundreds of cancerous tumors.
David's sad biography ended in February 1984. He fell into a coma and died 15 days later. His mother only then touched her son for the first time, saying goodbye to him forever.