His name is James Harrison lives in Australia and, thanks to the fact that he has donated blood for 56 years, has saved the lives of more than two million babies . At age 74, she has antibodies that prevent babies from dying from Rhesus disease, a severe form of anemia.
She has been donating since she was 18 years old and has accumulated a total of 984 donations. At first, his blood was considered so special that his life was insured for 680,000 euros . He was known as the man with the golden arm . A vaccine called Anti-D was developed with his blood.
He committed to be a donor with 14 years, after undergoing a thoracic operation where he needed 13 liters. "I've never thought about stopping. Never, "he said. "I was in the hospital for three months. The blood I received saved my life, so I made a promise to donate when I was 18. "
Right after they started donating, they realized that their blood had rare antibodies that could save lives. At that time in Australia, thousands of babies died from Rhesus disease. This disease generates an incompatibility between the blood of the mother and the baby and arises when one of them is Rh positive and the other Rh negative.
Upon discovering his blood type, James undertook to undergo a series of tests to develop the Anti-D vaccine. "They assured me for 680,000 euros, so my wife Barbara will be well looked after. I was not scared, I was happy to help. I had to sign many papers and, among them, my life. "
Being Rh negative, she was given injections of Rh positive blood. They found that their blood could treat this condition and since then it has been given to thousands of women and babies after birth, to prevent them from developing the disease. It is estimated that it has saved 2.2 million babies.
Joy Barnes, a of the workers of the blood bank of the Red Cross in Sydney, received his help. Meet James for 23 years. He aborted before receiving treatment and acknowledges that without it he could never have had a healthy baby.
His own daughter, Tracey, also had to inject the Anti-D vaccine after giving birth to her first child. She was proud of her father for continuing to donate even after the death of her mother. James said he returned to the hospital to donate a week after Barbara died.
"It was sad but life goes on and we have to continue," says James.
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