James Harrison: The man whose blood has cured 2 million babies
74-year old James Harrison is nothing short of a miracle worker. His blood has this extremely rare antibody in his plasma that stops babies dying from Rhesus disease, a form of severe anaemia that can result in brain damage and even death. His blood has saved over 2 million babies till now and has let women, including his daughter Tracey, to have babies. He has been donating blood since he was 18 years old with over 984 donations.
His blood has led to the development of vaccine called Anti-D.
He said: 'I've never thought about stopping. Never.' He made a pledge to be a donor aged 14 after undergoing major chest surgery in which he needed 13 litres of blood.
'I was in hospital for three months,' he said. 'The blood I received saved my life so I made a pledge to give blood when I was 18.'
Just after he started donating he was found to have the rare and life-saving antibody in his blood.
At the time, thousands of babies in Australia were dying each year of Rhesus disease. Other newborns suffered permanent brain damage because of the condition.
The disease creates an incompatibility between the mother's blood and her unborn baby's blood. It stems from one having Rh-positive blood and the other Rh-negative.
After his blood type was discovered, Mr Harrison volunteered to undergo a series of tests to help develop the Anti-D vaccine.
'They insured me for a million dollars so I knew my wife Barbara would be taken care of,' he said.
'I wasn't scared. I was glad to help. I had to sign every form going and basically sign my life away.'
Mr Harrison, dubbed 'the man with the golden arm', is still donating every few weeks at the age of 74. He is thought to have saved 2.2million babies
Mr Harrison is Rh-negative and was given injections of Rh-positive blood.
It was found his plasma could treat the condition and since then it has been given to hundreds of thousands of women.
It has also been given to babies after they are born to stop them developing the disease.Source: www.dailymail.co.uk
He has been rightfully called "Man with the Golden Arm" and "Man in two Million". His blood is special enough that he is insured for 1 million Australian dollars.
This man should be honored and given awards for saving so many lives without being selfish about it. Truly a miracle-worker!
Thank you Mr Harrison!