Man With Rare Antibody Saves Two Million Babies with His Blood

Man With Rare Antibody Saves Two Million Babies with His Blood

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James Harrison-photoby-Australian-Red-Cross

One man who was willing to share his blood has saved the lives of more than two million babies.

With his weekly donations to the Australian Red Cross for over 60 years, 78-year-old James Harrison has more than repaid a debt he felt he owed, and earned the nickname “The Man with the Golden Arm.”

In the 1960s, thousands of newborns in Australia were born with rhesus disease — a condition where the mother’s blood actually attacks the blood in the baby she’s carrying.

It was discovered that Harrison’s blood carries a rare antibody that can prevent the disease and scientists worked with him to create an injectable drug called Anti-D. The Red Cross claims Harrison’s contributions have saved the lives of 2.4 million babies — including his own grandson’s.Melanoma-CT-Scan-NewEnglandJournalofMedicine

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Researchers never would have found Harrison if he hadn’t started donating blood when he turned 18-years-old. Harrison, who lives in Australia’s Central Coast, started donating blood because donors had saved his life four years earlier when he needed 27 pints during lung surgery.

Tomorrow will mark James Harrison’s 1,106th donation, which was celebrated yesterday on World Blood Donor Day.

(WATCH the CNN video below or READ more at ABC NewsPhoto: Red Cross – Story tip: Ossie Sharon

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