Man's blood saves the lives of more than 2 million babies

Leslie Hanson
May 15, 2018

The blood service said Harrison became a pioneer of its anti-D program with his donations contributing to the creation of more than 3 million doses of anti-D for Australian mothers with a negative blood type.

James Harrison has retired after saving the lives of more than 2.4 million babies by donating his blood over the past 60 years.

At 81 years of age, Mr Harrison has made his 1,173rd and final donation - meaning he has provided more than a thousand bags full of his life-saving blood.

It was then that he pledged that he would pay it forward by becoming a blood donor when he turned 18, the minimum age set in Australia to be eligible to be a donor.

James Harrison, nicknamed "the man with the golden arm", has a rare antibody in his blood that is used to make a lifesaving medication called anti-D, given to mothers whose blood is at risk of developing rhesus D hemolytic disease (HDN), or antibodies that attack their unborn babies.

"The Red Cross and Australia can never thank a man like James enough", said Jemma Falkenmire, a spokeswoman for the Australian Red Cross Blood Service.

"I cry just thinking about it", Robyn Barlow, the program coordinator who recruited Mr. Harrison, told The Sydney Morning Herald.

Harrison was the first donor in a national Anti-D program that started in 1967.

Mr Harrison was happy to continue to donate and switched from plain blood to plasma donations in order to help as many people as possible.

When asked about his un-selfish act all these years he said, "I'm told I've saved a lot of lives and brought a lot of kids into the world".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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