'Bubble boy' David Vetter receives bone marrow transplant in 1983

The Texas boy, who was diagnosed with severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), died in 1985.
2:02 | 04/18/19

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Transcript for 'Bubble boy' David Vetter receives bone marrow transplant in 1983
From time to time on this broadcast and others you hear us refer to medical breakthroughs. Tonight a medical report which could literally mean breaking through a plastic shell that has surrounded a young boy for his entire life. David the boy suffers from a complete inability to fight any kind of infection. Here's ABC's George street. For twelve years David has been living in this plastic bubble this germ free environment waiting for medical breakthrough to set him free. And it appears his weight may be over just before dawn this morning his doctors performed a radical new kind of transport. Okay we'll see. A grown our planet. And Teixeira. Then head on especially for giving it to around. They need you now. Any compatible. Move compatible. Fourteen. David needed a bone marrow transplant because since birth his Merrill has not produced enough white blood cells to fight off invading germs. He had no immune system which meant even a mild cold could be fatal. A bone marrow transplant would cure it but an exact Max for David's bone marrow could not be found in anything short of an exact match. Would lead to a type of rejection called a graft vs host disease. Also fatal for two years doctors at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. Have been experimenting with monoclonal antibodies a substance that can seek out and destroy the specific cells that caused this rejection. These month olds will allow us to destroy the cells which caused graft vs host disease which is being seen your limitation. To transplanting. One individual into another. Geneva vegan three other immune deficient children like David have already been cured with these monoclonal antibodies. Because of those successes David's parents agreed to try using marrow from his sister. Doctors say it will be at least ninety days before they'll know if the transplant worked but now for the first time in twelve years David and is firmly dare to hope. George Strait ABC news.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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