Anybody donating blood is a special thing; blood donations save countless lives per year. But in Australia a very special, record holding man, has just made his last donation.
James Harrison, 81, has donated blood 1173 times and it is estimated that his blood donations have saved the lives of over 2,000,000 babies. For this he was awarded a Medal of Order and was known as ‘The Man with The Golden Arm’.
The reason why James’s blood is so special is that it contains a special antibody which can be used to treat Rhesus Disease. This is a condition in which the blood of pregnant mother’s attacks the fetus in the womb.
The only reason Mr Harrison has stopped giving blood is that he has reached the upper legal age limit of 81, he stated that if he could keep donating then he would, “I’ve saved a lot of lives and got a lot of new kids into the world, so, that makes me feel good.”
It is thought that he developed this particular antibody when he had a lung removed at the age of 14 and needed a blood transfusion in order to survive the operation. Then at the age of 20 he made his first donation and has carried on every fortnight ever since at his local red cross centre.
In the UK there is a blood donation service ran by the NHS who are constantly crying out for blood donations. To find out how and when to donate blood you can visit their website here.
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