One man's blood has helped saved the lives of two million babies
Australian native James Harrison is your average guy. He enjoys spending time with his daughter and grandchildren, as well as giving back, but not in the way you might think.
Harrison has been dubbed "The Man with the Golden Arm." For the past 60 years, he has gone to a blood bank and donated blood plasma from his right arm every week. Harrison's blood plasma has been used to help save the lives of millions.
He told CNN that when he was 14-years-old, he had a chest operation where they removed one of his lungs and in return received 13 liters of blood. Because of this, he was influenced to become a donor himself, not knowing the affect he would have.
After his first donation, doctors knew he was something special. Jemma Falkenmire of the Australian Red Cross Blood Service told CNN that up until 1967, thousand of babies were dying each year from a condition unbeknownst to medical professionals. Because of Harrison's unusual anti-body in his blood, he was the "golden" ticket doctors needed.
Since the 1960s, Harrison has worked with a variety of doctors to use the antibodies in his blood to develop an injection called Anti-D. Falkenmire also told CNN that "every bag of blood is precious, but James' blood is particularly extraordinary. His blood is actually used to make a life-saving medication, given to moms whose blood is at risk of attacking their unborn babies. Every batch of Anti-D that has ever been made in Australia has come from James' blood."
Because of this act, Harrison is widely considered a national hero, having won many awards for his actions and over 1,000 plasma donations. Doctors understand that he will have to stop donating in a few years, but their hope is that someone will the same blood type will help take over the amazing efforts Harrison has started.
For more inspiration, watch the video below of a man who has donated his blood over 100 times.
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