The man with the golden Blood: how an Australian saved the lives of two million babies

The man with the golden Blood: how an Australian saved the lives of two million babies

Categories: Children | Health and Medicine

Every year, on June 14, the World Blood Donor Day is celebrated. On this summer day, we offer to remember a unique person who saved millions of lives and got into the Guinness Book of records.

Many years ago, the Australian James Harrison was on the verge of death. The operation on the chest lasted more than ten hours, surgeons applied a myriad of stitches and transfused about 13 liters of blood to James. Everything ended well, and when the young man came out of the hospital, he firmly decided that he would become a permanent blood donor to help people the same way someone helped him. But then James did not know how valuable a donor he would become.

The man with the golden Blood: how an Australian saved the lives of two million babies

Harrison began to donate blood and plasma regularly after reaching the age of majority. He admits that after the operation, he literally lived with anticipation when he would be allowed to become a donor. Soon he was called to a local hospital for a conversation. There, James was told that his blood contains a large amount of antibodies that play a vital role in the survival of children who have different Rh factors with their mother. 

The man with the golden Blood: how an Australian saved the lives of two million babies

It is known that if the mother has a negative Rh factor, and the child has a positive one, and at the same time the antibodies in the mother's blood are more active, then reactions occur that lead to various negative consequences — from jaundice in a newborn to miscarriage. James was found to have special antibodies in his blood, on the basis of which they began to produce an immunoglobulin vaccine. Their appearance in the body of an Australian doctor is associated with a transfusion made to him in his youth.

The man with the golden Blood: how an Australian saved the lives of two million babies

In short, donation has become James Harrison's life's work. His plasma turned out to be so valuable that the Australian government insured his life for one million dollars. 

The man with the golden Blood: how an Australian saved the lives of two million babies

Now James is 80 years old. He gives plasma on average once every three weeks. In May 2011, he did it for the thousandth time, which was recorded in the Guinness Book of Records. According to rough estimates, James helped save the lives of two million unborn children, including the life of his own daughter.

The man with the golden Blood: how an Australian saved the lives of two million babies

On December 27, this deeply respected person in Australia will turn 84 years old. National laws prohibit being a donor at this age. Fortunately, now doctors have already found alternative methods, but until 2015, absolutely all anti-resus drugs in Australia were made from James Harrison's plasma.

The man with the golden Blood: how an Australian saved the lives of two million babies

Keywords: Health and medicine | Blood | Children | Donor | Disease | Australia | Australia and new zealand | News of the day

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