Skip to comments.'Man with the golden arm' saves 2million babies in 1/2 century of donating rare type of blood
Posted on 03/22/2010 6:21:24 AM PDT by NYer
An Australian man who has been donating his extremely rare kind of blood for 56 years has saved the lives of more than two million babies.
James Harrison, 74, has an antibody in his plasma that stops babies dying from Rhesus disease, a form of severe anaemia.
He has enabled countless mothers to give birth to healthy babies, including his own daughter, Tracey, who had a healthy son thanks to her father's blood.
Mr Harrison has been giving blood every few weeks since he was 18 years old and has now racked up a total of 984 donations.
When he started donating, his blood was deemed so special his life was insured for one million Australian dollars.
He was also nicknamed the 'man with the golden arm' or the 'man in two million'.
His blood has since led to the development of a 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.
(Excerpt) Read more at dailymail.co.uk ...
God bless this selfless man! How many others might have taken advantage of this gift, for profit. Finally, a "good news" story.
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Wow. What a good man, bless his heart.
I SO needed this story today!
As my dad would say, he’s “got a front row seat in Heaven”.
What an amazing man.
I am in an extremely poisonous mood after the Socialist Health Care bill was rammed down our throats last night.
Thank you for posting this uplifting story. It made me smile, if only for a minute.
Thanks for the ping/for posting this. On this dreary, dismal day this story is a wonderful thing.
What a great story! My daughter and I had this problem. I had no idea how serious it was. I just got the shot and no worries. Thank you Mr. Harrison!!!
Very nice. I was born with this condition in Denver, CO and needed a complete transfusion at birth. One scary thing was it was in 1974 that was about the time aids really started.
Stupak wiped out 2 mill..so back to even.
Who will replace him? I wonder who out there has this rare anitbody.
A “good news” break and reminder of the purpose of life - to share our gifts with others.
“His blood has since led to the development of a vaccine called Anti-D.”
Thank God for men like this.
The next time my doc (if he hasn’t quit) takes blood I’m going to ask him to test for it.
There are others. The bigger question, however, is how many, if any, are willing to share their blood with their brothers and sisters.
Thank you, NYer. It is all too easy at times to forget what is really important.
Mr Harrison has been giving blood every few weeks since he was 18 years
old and has now racked up a total of 984 donations.
I know Reagan said it about the US Marine Corps, but this is also
a guy who doesn’t need to wonder if he has made a difference in
A very heartening story.
Agreed. Even touches a curmuddgeon (sp?) like myself.
The pain he repeatedly experiences along with the various kinds of
inconvenience make his a very commendable attitude.
Well, I don’t know if they do the same as here at some blood drives
in the USA...but I’d say “Give that man a cup of orange juice!”
this demands a Feature Film! What a story.
This man needs to be advised that he can perpetuate this ability by doing a bone marrow transplant with other people.
The recipients of his bone marrow will have his very own marrow cells reproducing his rare blood type.
Thank you Mr. Harrison. You helped my children.
If I was that guy and had blood that was *that* valuable I'd demand a juicy sirloin steak after each donation.Plus a limo to and from the donation center! ;-)
God has blessed this man. I give whenever my time comes up, but to be able to do something like he has is amazing.
When the baby was born he was immediately sent to Walter Reed via helicopter and over the course of the next month received 3 complete blood transfusions as well as 24 hours a day under special lighting.
The shot has to be given immediately after the birth of a child with differing Rh factors from the mother, it keeps her from developing antigens. although the shot was available after our 2nd child, the doctor did not give it to my wife.
After the 3rd child we had my wives tubes tied, we were told another child with a pos Rh would probably kill my wife and the baby. That child today is a Lieutenant in the Navy currently in Naval Post Grad School in Monterrey Calif.
Talk about a guy who has a seat in first class!
Awsome story. I needed this type of article too.
Uplifting story. Which I think we all need about now.
FWIW I don't need to be uplifted, pandy. I have been on the side of America from the beginning. It's the un-American anti-American trash that brought us a commie government that need uplifting. ;-)