April 17, 2000 |
". . . A great day for the world. A great day for medicine. Gene therapy has been approved. Our daughter is the first patient in the world to receive it." Those were the words that a tired but exhilarated Van DeSilva penned into her personal journal on the evening of Sept. 14, 1990. Her 4-year-old daughter, suffering from an extremely rare and fatal disease that cripples the immune system, had just made medical history. Ten days earlier, at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md.