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David Philip Vetter
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Oddity
    (September 21, 1971-February 22, 1984)
    Born in Houston, Texas
    Born with Severe Combined Immune Deficiency Syndrome (SCIDS)
    Forced to live in a sterile environment
    One of the first SCIDS patients to live past infancy
    Inspired the TV movie 'The Boy in the Plastic Bubble'
    He developed facial ticks and rubbed his nose until it was raw.
    He had nightmares about the 'King of Germs.'
    He was so petrified with fear of germs that he could not handle brief forays into the outside world in a NASA-designed sterile suit.
    He smeared his excrement on the walls of the bubble.
    As he approached puberty, he masturbated openly in front of his nurses.
    The bubble was meant to be a temporary solution until he could receive a bone marrow transfer from his sister. Unfortunately, she was not a match.
    He grew up deprived of human contact.
    He was considered above average in intellect and vocabulary.
    The three doctors in charge of his treatment eventually transfered to other hospitals, leaving him feeling abandoned.
    Following improvements in transplant technology, he received his sister's bone marrow at age 12./n/Unfortunately, the marrow contained traces of the Epstein-Barr virus and he died of lymphoma 15 days later.
    Due to discoveries physicians made while studying Vetter, 90% of SCIDS cases are treatable.

Credit: C. Fishel


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