Health Care

Meet the 'man with the golden arm' who saved 2.4 million babies

Meet the 'man with the golden arm' who saved 2.4 million babies

An Australian man is being hailed a hero after donating blood that has saved millions of babies' lives. Now the Australia Red Cross Blood Services have started a three-year research project using his DNA to try to develop a solution.

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It's not just the high number of donations that makes Harrison's story so noteworthy. In the five decades since then, Harrison kept on donating blood, with the plasma used to create "millions" more Anti-D injections for expecting mothers.

Aside from his "man with the golden arm" moniker, James Harrison has received a number of honors through the years for his blood donation efforts. "Women were having miscarriages and babies were being born with brain damage".

(Anti-D) given to mothers whose blood is at risk of attacking, and killing, their unborn babies.

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.

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" 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".

Doctors realised, however, that it might be possible to prevent HDN by injecting the pregnant woman with a treatment made from donated plasma with a rare antibody. Australia became the first country in the world to be self-sufficient in the supply of Anti-D.

Harrison has now passed the Australian Red Cross's donor age limit, but he told the Sydney Herald he'd "keep on going if they'd let me". "He has saved millions of babies".

"Probably my only talent is that I can be a blood donor", Harrison remarked wryly to CNN in 2015, when the network followed him as he made his 1101st donation that year.

"To say I am proud of James (my dad) is an understatement", Harrison's daughter, Tracey Mellowship, wrote on Facebook last month, noting she had needed an Anti-D injection in 1992, after the birth of her first son. According to the Washington Post, most researchers believe that it might be related to the blood transfusions he got at the age of 14. Now that he's retiring, doctors hope others will come forward with blood containing similar antibodies.

" I wish it's a document that someone breaks, due to the fact that it will certainly indicate they are devoted to the reason", Mr Harrison stated of his last contribution.