RETRO REPORT The Story Behind the News
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The Boy in the Bubble

In the early 1970s, an unusual boy captivated the nation. Now, decades later, his story continues to unfold in remarkable ways.

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The Boy in the Bubble

Produced by Kit Roane
Original Release
December 7, 2015
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In the early 1970s, an unusual boy captivated the nation. Now, decades later, his story continues to unfold in remarkable ways.

The press said that David Vetter was born into a world he could not touch. And there was no truer statement in 1971 when, as an infant, he was placed inside the protective plastic bubble that had been specially built to seal it off. The outside world was toxic to the child, who suffered from a rare genetic defect so nefarious that it could turn even the slightest cold into a death sentence. But, despite this separation, the little boy’s fishbowl life turned him into a symbol of hope and determination for the generation of Americans who watched his story evolve.

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