Space race advances in technology benefited David Vetter throughout his short life. In fact, NASA engineers had built the isolators that kept the young boy's environment germ-free. Then, in 1977, NASA made the five-year-old a custom-made, $50,000 spacesuit. The Mobile Biological Isolation System, which came with a 54-page user's manual, would allow Vetter to leave his plastic bubble for the first time.
In 1974 doctors at Texas Children's Hospital caring for David Vetter considered how they might help him experience life beyond the stationary isolator bubbles that protected him from the germs to which he was so susceptible. They needed engineers who understood life support systems and synthetic fabrics, who could "dock" the suit with the isolator, and who allowed no margin of error. Luckily, those engineers worked down the road at NASA's Johnson Space Center.
Caring for any infant or child has its challenges without having to handle him with rubber gloves through a plastic bubble. Nurses practiced diapering and holding a doll for two weeks before David Vetter was born. He never wore anything but lightweight clothing in his life, but as an infant, the small buttons were difficult to maneuver and his mother, Carol Ann Vetter, sometimes resorted to using the adhesive tabs from a disposable diaper to keep his shirt closed.