Known as "the man with the golden arm", James Harrison is estimated to have saved the lives of 2.4 million babies after giving blood nearly every week for 60 years. Every batch of Anti-D that has ever been made in Australia has come from James' blood. The terrifying complications of HDN may include anemia, jaundice, heart failure, brain damage, and even death.
After a few years of donating, doctors were shocked to find that his blood contained an antibody that directly neutralizes rhesus disease: a unsafe condition in which a pregnant woman's blood attacks her unborn child.
As recalled by the Washington Post, Harrison chose to become a blood donor when he was 14-years-old, after he survived a chest operation that required the removal of one of his lungs, keeping him in the hospital for three months. James Harrison deserves so much more than that. Now the Australia Red Cross Blood Services have started a three-year research project using his DNA to try to develop a solution.More news: Seven found dead at Australian rural property
James Harrison has donated his blood, almost every week, since the past 60 years. That's a unsafe condition that develops when a woman has rhesus-negative blood (RhD negative) and has a baby in her womb with RhD positive blood. These donors' unique antibodies, when injected into an Rh-negative mother, prevent her body from attacking the Rh-positive baby's cells.
Jemma Falkenmire, spokesperson for the Blood Service, said: 'Australia owes a big thank you to James Harrison.
'Medications like Anti-D are a life-giving intervention for thousands of Australian mums, but they are only available because men like James give blood'. However, an extraordinary Australian man deserves a lot more than that.More news: Sudden dust storm hits Delhi, flights diverted
Rhesus disease is a condition where antibodies in a pregnant woman's blood destroy her baby's blood cells. This included Harrison's own grandchildren, as his daughter Tracey required an Anti-D injection in 1992, shortly after her first of two children was born.
" We motivate the companions and also close friends of all brand-new moms to think of contributing blood, simply one contribution assists make sure a person has the opportunity to be a mom". He's won numerous awards for his generosity, including the Medal of the Order of Australia, one of the country's most prestigious honors.
James told CNN: "It becomes quite humbling when they say, "oh you've done this or you've done that or you're a hero". He vowed to become a blood donor himself and began as soon as he was old enough. On Friday, Harrison made his final donation, as he reached the maximum allowable age for donors in Australia.More news: Cheetahs chase Relatives at park
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