He’s called, “the man with the golden arm”. For 60 years James Harrison has been donating blood every week and those donations have saved the lives of 2.4 million babies. So what motivated Harrison to do this and just how did he save that many children with his donations? Desiring to do something meaningful in his life motivated Harrison but he was also blessed with a blood type that has unique disease fighting antibodies, which makes Harrison’s blood a special healer. These antibodies affect pregnant women’s blood during the process of a disease where the pregnant woman’s body begins to attack the unborn baby’s blood cells. The disease is called Rhesus. From Harrison’s blood, they were able to come up with an injection called the Anti-D injection, which fights this disease.
If the mother has been sensitized to the disease by a previous pregnancy that included a Rhesus-positive baby, she is prone to experiencing this disease in future pregnancies. Since blood donations saved Harrison’s life after major chest surgery, he was inspired to start giving blood. After a few years of donating blood, doctors discovered the unique antibodies which birthed the protective injection called Anti-D. Then Harrison decided to donate blood to as many people as possible. This rare blood type may have come from a surgery and blood transfusion Harrison had at the age of 14.