James Harrison 14-year-old who lives in Australia in 1951 rose from a major chest surgery. In the surgery, the surgeons and doctors had to remove one of the lungs and eventually he was hospitalized for 3 months straight. During such worst time, Harrison learned that the major reason he was still alive was that of a large quantity of transfused blood he has received. This is the reason he was determined to donate blood to whom so ever required it.
According to the laws of Australia, the donor should be 18-year-old so unfortunately, he had to wait for 4 more years. Donating continuously for 6 years to the institution is very thankful to Harrison for saving the life of billions of babies.
No sooner Harrison became a donor the doctors estimated that Harrison can solve many powerful problems.“In Australia, up until about 1967, there were literally thousands of babies dying each year, doctors didn’t know why, and it was awful,” Jemma Falkenmire of the Australian Red Cross Blood Service told CNN. “Women were having numerous miscarriages and babies were being born with brain damage.” Rhesus disease was the cause of this worst disease where the pregnant woman’s blood starts attacking her own unborn baby’s cells.
Rhesus disease occurs when a pregnant woman has rhesus-negative (RhD negative) and the baby in her womb has rhesus-positive (RhD positive), inherited from the father If the mother has been sensitized to rhesus-positive blood, usually during a previous pregnancy with a rhesus-positive baby, she may produce antibodies that destroy the baby’s “foreign” blood cells.
The doctors discovered that Harrison has a rare antibody in his blood and in the 1960’s they worked together extensively, using it to develop an injection called Anti-D. Anti-D prevents mothers with rhesus-negative blood from developing RhD antibodies during their pregnancy.
Doctors are yet unknown to the fact that how come, Harrison, has such rare blood type. The most common explanation for this could be because of blood transfusion he received at the age of 14. According to doctors, these antibodies are merely present in 50 people in Australia.
“Every bag of blood is precious, but James’ blood is particularly extraordinary <…>. Every batch of Anti-D that has ever been made in Australia has come from James’ blood.” Falkenmire said. “And more than 17% of women in Australia are at risk, so James has helped save a lot of lives.” About 2.4 million, to be exact.
The “Man With The Golden Arm” saved the life of billions of babies which leaves us all inspired and motivated to donate blood.
He is referred with the title “Man with the Golden Arm”, donating nearly 1173 plasma including 1163 from his right hand and 10 from his left hand.“It becomes quite humbling when they say, ‘oh you’ve done this or you’ve done that or you’re a hero,’” Harrison told CNN. “It’s something I can do. It’s one of my talents, probably my only talent is that I can be a donor.
Billions of babies would have died if this “Man With The Golden Arm” would not have decided to donate his blood which has antibodies which can cure the disease Rhesus which eventually saved them.
“They asked me to be a guinea pig, and I’ve been donating ever since,” the hero told the Sydney Morning Herald. “I’d keep on going if they’d let me.” But Mr. Harrison has surpassed the donor age limit and the Blood Service seeks to protect his health and life. On Friday, Mr. Harrison made his final benefaction. He was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in 1999 for having saved the life of billions of babies.