More memories. We just passed the 40th anniversary of when David Vetter was born.
Known in the press as David the Bubble Boy.
He and I lived in the same area. I didn't know him, but several of my friends did. For a while, he "took" classes at our school. And some of the kids "played" at his house.
A lot of quotation marks there. I guess it means he "lived" to be 12 years old.
In that "your friends are my friends" way of understanding community that kids have, all of us felt connected to David. We followed the stories, we were protective of David (even if some felt he was kind of a pill) and his sister. We didn't understand the big picture, we just knew that he was trapped. We thought it was a pretty bum deal.
I won't get into the whole story. You can read it here. I will sum it up by saying it tells what happens when you put science first, and ethics second. It's a damn heartbreaking story.
I remember when he died. I was a freshman in High School, at home by myself. This being a local story, they broke in on the tv and gave the news. I remember they said he died of a heart attack, I don't know why -- I guess because they didn't actually know the cause of death yet. I turned off the tv. I turned on the radio. Total Eclipse of the Heart was playing. Crying, I danced, giant leaps around the living room. I was 14, but I knew that David had never been able to have even that little freedom. I remember thinking I was dancing for David.
His doctors are celebrating. They say his life and death meant life for many others. They say profound scientific knowledge came from the science experiment that was his life.
David, was it worth it?