DALLAS, TX – Six-week-old Brady Stewart is one in a million. He’s also one of about 100 kids a year in the United States diagnosed with severe combined immunodeficiency syndrome, or SCID. It’s probably better know as ‘bubble boy disease.’ Brady was born without an immune system, he’s not in a bubble. His mother Jeanie says doctors and nurses who wear scrubs and masks are among the few who get to be near him.
“So he is protected in there as much as he can be. I’m just really careful; I mean, I wash my hands a thousand times a day it seems,” says Jeanie.
And for good reason. Medical City Children’s Hospital hematologist Dr. Stan Goldman says that without an immune system, any germ could be deadly.
“Left untreated, SCID is usually fatal in the first few years of life, not because of the immunodeficiency, but because of the infections you can’t fight off.” Says Dr. Goldman.
About a month ago, Brady received a bone marrow transplant from his dad. Doctors are now waiting for immune cells to grow. Bubble boy disease is transmitted from mothers to sons and only boys can have the disease. Jeanie’s brothers, Matt and Daniel, were bubble boys, Daniel almost died. Brady has two nephews, Trey and Clayton, who are also bubble boys. Jeanie says that all are now leading normal lives.
“Knowing that, it was comforting, going into it, I mean, I always knew we were going to have children, even though this was an issue and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.” Says Jeanie.
Brady was diagnosed with the disease at eighteen weeks. He was born in Oklahoma City and then taken to Medical City Children’s Hospital where his mom says he is thriving in isolation.
“He’s doing amazing, he’s gaining weight everyday and he just seems like a normal baby.” Says Jeanie. “You would never know anything were wrong with him if we didn’t know in advance.”
And until he grows an immune system, Jeanie says his hospital room will be home.
“He’s pretty protected, but if he was out in the real world, it would be very scary.”