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Title The Boy In The Bubble / Director: Kleiser, Randal
Published Australia : SBS ONE, 1976
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Description 1 online resource (streaming video file) (53 min. 37 sec.) ; 324162316 bytes
Summary A documentary about a boy who was born in 1972, without a working immune system - David Vetter, who became known as The Boy In The Bubble.The story is willfully told with the hope and the desperation of survival. The documentary shows you David's life from a pre-empted germ free delivery room to his life in the plastic chamber known by medical staff as the 'isolator'.Severe Combined Immunity Deficiency, SCID, is a rare genetic disease only passed on to males. Infants born with SCID in the Seventies did not live past their first year. Usually, by the time the disease is discovered they are riddled with infection and little more can be done to save them.David's parents had already lost their first son to SCID. Hopeful of extending their family, they decided on having David after talking to and gaining the support of the Houston Texas Medical Centre. David's older sister Kathryn was expected to be a bone marrow donor to help restore his immune system, as she matched the Vetter's previous son, who died at seven months. Unfortunately their bone marrow was not a match. "The doctor's knew the odds of finding a perfect sibling match were one in four. The odds of finding a match from an unrelated donor were 1 in 100s of 1000s. So this was going to be a long shot, perhaps a longer shot then any of them were able to face up to." - Evelyn Nelson Mc Millan, Writer.The 'isolator' was an experiment designed by a team of doctor's who thought it would be a temporary measure. But what was set up as a temporary solution became his home, and as he grew, they had to allocate a hospital room for him to live in. As the years went by, David moved to other environments in the hospital, each one bigger to fit him and the bubble.Although the press created an image of a healthy young boy trapped in a bubble, David was psychologically unstable, primarily due to the lack of any human contact."Nothing seemed to offer real hope, and most of the procedures offered real danger and as long as the isolator was working we didn't have to do anything." - John R Montgomery, M.D. Pediatric ImmunologistAlthough he defied the odds, David was overcome by the disease before he was a teenager when a bone marrow transplant operation failed. The Boy In The Bubble follows the ethical questions that his family and the resourceful team around him were always faced with throughout his short life. (From the US, in English)
Event Broadcast 2009-06-12 at 13:30:00
Notes Classification: PG
Subject Immunologic diseases -- Treatment.
Patients -- Psychology.
Severe combined immunodeficiency.
Form Streaming video
Author Bellamy, Ralph, cast
Hyland, Diana, cast
Kleiser, Randal, director
O'Connor, Glynnis, cast
Reed, Robert, cast
Travolta, John, cast