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Is the movie The Boy in the Plastic Bubble (1976) based on a true story?

Olivia Thompson Olivia Thompson Feb 27, 2021 · 1 min read
Is the movie The Boy in the Plastic Bubble (1976) based on a true story?
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Yes, The Boy in the Plastic Bubble (1976) is loosely based on the true story of David Vetter, who was born in 1971 with a rare genetic disorder called severe combined immune deficiency (SCID), which left him with no functioning immune system. David spent most of his life inside a germ-free plastic bubble in order to protect him from infections. He passed away at the age of 12 from complications following a bone marrow transplant.

What is the true story behind the movie The Boy in the Plastic Bubble (1976)?

The Boy in the Plastic Bubble is a semi-fictionalized movie based on the life of David Vetter, a boy who was born in 1971 with severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), also known as “bubble boy” disease. The condition made it impossible for David’s body to fight off any infections, leaving him with virtually no immune system.

David lived his entire life inside a specially designed plastic isolation chamber, which was intended to protect him from germs and infections. He was confined to this bubble for twelve years, during which time he underwent numerous experimental treatments in an attempt to cure his disease.

While the movie did take some liberties with the actual events of David’s life, it was largely accurate in its depiction of his struggles with SCID and the isolation he faced as a result. David passed away in 1984, just days after receiving a bone marrow transplant which was ultimately unsuccessful in saving his life.

Are there any books about the true story behind the movie The Boy in the Plastic Bubble (1976)?

Yes, there is a book called “The Boy in the Plastic Bubble” written by Marsha Norman. It was published in 1976, the same year as the movie was released. The book is based on the true story of David Vetter, a Texas boy who suffered from severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), a rare disease that forced him to live in a protective plastic bubble. The movie was also loosely based on Vetter’s life.

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Olivia Thompson
Written by Olivia Thompson
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