These pictures show a 13-month-old baby cured from a rare genetic disorder made famous by the hit John Travolta film ‘The Boy in the Plastic Bubble’.
The tot named Derek, from Catalonia, Spain was completely cured of Severe Combined Immune Deficiency (SCID) thanks to thanks to a miracle stem cell transplant.
The condition is known as the ‘bubble boy disease’ after the famous case of American child David Vetter, who was forced to live in a containment bubble, which was later dramatised in the 1976 film starring John Travolta.
According to local media, 13-month-old Derek has become the first child in Catalonia to be cured of the ‘bubble boy disease’ since screening tests began.
Derek’s transplant took place in 2018 at the Vall d’Hebron University Hospital in Barcelona when he was just three months old and free of illness.
He then had to spend four months in an isolated room to recover and avoid possible infections.
Doctor Pere Soler told local media: “Thanks to the transplant, Derek’s immune system has developed step by step.”
Six months ago, doctors decided that little Derek was strong enough to return home, although they continue to closely monitor his progress.
According to local media, 13-month-old Derek went for a recent check up with his mum Raquel Colomer and doctors allowed him to remove the protective face mask he has had to wear until now.
Colomer said that her son is “doing very well” and is currently starting to walk.
Doctor Soler believes that Derek is now cured of the genetic disorder and emphasised that diagnosing the condition early was vital to the treatment’s success.
The disease has been included in newborn screening tests in the eastern Spanish region of Catalonia since 2017.
Today, transplants of umbilical cord blood – a rich source of stem cells – are helping to rebuild sufferers’ immune systems, in some cases curing them of the rare genetic disorder.