Aside from immediate family, no one is allowed in the house to see 3-year-old Quinn Waters. More importantly, Quinn can't go out.
Parents Jarlath and Tara Waters of Weymouth, Massachusetts, said Quinn's natural immunity was temporarily wiped out after he got a stem cell transplant to treat his brain cancer.
"Jarlath: We basically keep him in a bubble just as a precaution," Jarlath said. "Even a common cold could be something that will bring him back into the hospital," Tara added.
Fortunately, the kid is a champ who has retained a mostly positive attitude. But it still stinks.
"He sees all of this happening and he knows he's stuck inside, and there would be days," Tara said. "Days when Quinn is literally pounding to get out."
Unfortunately, staring out a window is a poor substitute for walking out a door. For the last two months, Quinn's connection to the outside world has been limited to whoever passes by, which hasn't been all that limiting, actually.
"It started out with family members coming to the window," Jarlath said.
Then the neighbors started showing up to entertain with non-contact art projects and other stupid human tricks. Next, the police caught wind — and pretty soon top-notch performers were just showing up on Quinn's front lawn.
Today, you never know what might happen. One minute it could be a dog parade — the next, a team of Irish step dancers — everyone brought together by word of mouth and a will to help Quinn get better, which his parents say is happening.
"It's the positive energy from all these people that we believe has gotten him through his sickness, you know," Jarlath explained. "You can never repay, you know — just maybe pay it forward."
Being indebted has never felt so fortunate.