FFirst, it was the construction of Texas Children’s new pediatric community hospital in The Woodlands slated to open in 2017. Now, a new David Clinic will be built at The Woodlands campus, which means children affected by immune deficiencies will receive world class care and diagnosis in their own community.
On June 4, David Elementary School presented Texas Children’s with a donation of more than $38,000 raised by students and families that will be used to construct the new facility.
The facility will serve as an extension of the already established David Center at Texas Children’s main campus, which provides care and research for primary immune deficiencies, which are inborn diseases of the immune system that make children susceptible to auto immunity and infectious diseases.
“With the growing city of Houston and Texas Children’s Hospital facilities, it makes sense to put an extension of the David Center in David’s own community and in our new hospital in The Woodlands to increase awareness and provide greater access to patient care and treatment,” said Dr. Jordan Orange, chief of Immunology, Allergy and Rheumatology at Texas Children’s.
The David Clinic and the David Center are named in honor of David Vetter, the Texas Children’s Hospital patient from the 1970s known as the “Bubble Boy,” who suffered from Severe Combined Immune Deficiency (SCID), which required him to live in a plastic bubble to protect him from germs and bacteria.
“This rare illness that David succumbed to affects about 1 in 50,000 babies,” said Dr. Orange. “Due to remarkable advances in immunology research and treatment, this immune deficiency is almost 100 percent curable if identified within the first three months of life.”
Since December 2012, every baby born in Texas is screened for SCID to ensure prompt diagnosis and best outcomes.
Besides the generous gift from David Elementary School, which is also named after Vetter, the school hosted David’s Dream Run last month. This annual event has raised more than $350,000 since its inception and all proceeds support The David Center and its research. All funds from the run through 2016 will support construction of the David Clinic in The Woodlands.
To learn more about David, visit the artifacts exhibit on the third floor of the Feigin Center in the Allergy and Immunology department. The David Center Wall on the ninth floor of the Clinical Care Center features a collection of photos highlighting David’s long-term association with Texas Children’s.