“Man With The Golden Arm” Whose Blood Saved The Lives Of 2.4 Million Babies Makes His Final Donation


In 1951, 14-year-old James Harrison from Australia awoke from a significant chest surgical procedure. Medical doctors eliminated one among his lungs and stored him hospitalized for 3 months. Throughout this troublesome time, Harrison realized that he was alive largely as a consequence of an enormous amount of transfused blood he had acquired. Then and there, he vowed he’d grow to be a donor himself. Former Australian legal guidelines required blood donors to be at the very least 18 years outdated, so the boy needed to wait four extra years. However Harrison stored his promise. Donating usually to the Australian Crimson Cross Blood Service for 60 years, the group estimates that Harrison saved tens of millions of lives.

Quickly after Harrison turned a donor, docs informed the person that his blood may remedy a lethal drawback. “In Australia, up till about 1967, there have been actually 1000’s of infants dying annually, docs didn’t know why, and it was terrible,” Jemma Falkenmire of the Australian Crimson Cross Blood Service told CNN. “Ladies had been having quite a few miscarriages and infants had been being born with mind injury.” We now know that the reason for these horrible issues was rhesus illness, a situation the place a pregnant lady’s blood begins attacking her personal unborn child’s blood cells.

Rhesus illness happens when a pregnant lady has rhesus-negative blood (RhD destructive) and the child in her womb has rhesus-positive blood (RhD constructive), inherited from the daddy. If the mom has been sensitized to rhesus-positive blood, normally throughout a earlier being pregnant with an rhesus-positive child, she might produce antibodies that destroy the child’s “international” blood cells. The docs found that Harrison has a uncommon antibody in his blood and within the 1960’s they labored collectively extensively, utilizing it to develop an injection known as Anti-D. Anti-D prevents moms with rhesus-negative blood from growing RhD antibodies throughout their being pregnant.

Medical doctors are clueless as to why Harrison has this uncommon blood sort. Their finest guess suggests it may need one thing to do with the transfusions he acquired when he was 14. The blood service additionally says that there are not more than 50 individuals in Australia identified to have the antibodies. “Each bag of blood is valuable, however James’ blood is especially extraordinary <…>. Each batch of Anti-D that has ever been made in Australia has come from James’ blood.” Falkenmire stated. “And greater than 17% of girls in Australia are in danger, so James has helped save lots of lives.” About 2.four million, to be actual.

Referred to as “The Man with the Golden Arm,” James Harrison has made 1,173 blood plasma donations – 1,163 from his proper arm and 10 from his left. “It turns into fairly humbling after they say, ‘oh you’ve executed this otherwise you’ve executed that otherwise you’re a hero,’” Harrison told CNN. “It’s one thing I can do. It’s one among my skills, in all probability my solely expertise, is that I generally is a blood donor.”

“They requested me to be a guinea pig, and I’ve been donating ever since,” the hero told the Sydney Morning Herald. “I’d carry on going in the event that they’d let me.” However Mr Harrison has surpassed the donor age restrict and the Blood Service seeks to guard his well being. On Friday, Mr Harrison made his closing benefaction. He was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in 1999.

When James Harrison was 14,  the docs eliminated one among his lungs and stored him hospitalized for 3 months

Picture credit: Australian Red Cross Blood Service

Throughout the troublesome time, Harrison realized that he was alive largely as a consequence of the transfused blood he had acquired

To offer again, he turned a blood donor himself

Picture credit: Australian Red Cross Blood Service

Throughout the subsequent 60 years, James Harrison has made 1,173 blood plasma donations – 1,163 from his proper arm and 10 from his left

Picture credit: 9news

Australian Crimson Cross Blood Service estimates that Harrison saved 2.four million lives

Picture credit: 9news

Harrison has a uncommon antibody in his blood and within the 1960s he and well being professionals used it to develop an injection known as Anti-D

Picture credit: 9news

Anti-D is the primary reply to a lethal drawback known as rhesus illness

Picture credit: 9news

Rhesus illness happens when a pregnant lady has rhesus-negative blood (RhD destructive) and the child in her womb has rhesus-positive blood (RhD constructive), inherited from its father

Picture credit: 9news

If the mom has been sensitized to rhesus-positive blood, she might produce antibodies that destroy the child’s “international” blood cells

Picture credit: 9news

For the infants, it may end up in mind injury or loss of life

Picture credit: 9news

“I’d carry on going in the event that they’d let me” stated Mr Harrison. However he has surpassed the donor age restrict and the Blood Service seeks to guard his well being

Picture credit: 9news

James Harrison on his closing donation, surrounded by Anti-D infants he saved

Picture credit: Steven Siewert

To study extra about “The Man with the Golden Arm,” watch the video under

Mr Harrison was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in 1999. On Friday, he made his closing benefaction



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