On this day: February 22

POSTED: 08:56 PM PST Feb 21, 2013    UPDATED: 11:00 PM PST Feb 21, 2016 

The pilgrims get their first taste of popcorn, George Washington is born, Elvis hits the charts for the first time, and Team USA pulls off a "Miracle on Ice," all on this day.

OTD February 22 - David Vetter
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Baylor College of Medicine archives

1984: David Vetter, who was born with severe combined immunodeficiency, a disorder that causes the immune system to not work, dies from Burkitt's lymphoma at the age of 12 in Montgomery County, Texas. David lived his entire life in a sterile environment to avoid a fatal infection, earning the nickname "David, the bubble boy" in media reports. The only cure at the time was a bone marrow transplant, and none of his family members was a match. At the age of 12, doctors decided to attempt an unmatched transplant from his sister, but while it initially appeared successful, David became ill a few months later. His autopsy revealed that the donor bone marrow contained traces of a dormant virus, Epstein-Barr, which had been undetectable in the pre-transplant screening. Although his full name was known by the media, it was withheld in news reports in order to give David and his family privacy. His last name was not revealed to the general public until 10 years after his death.


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