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'Man with the golden arm' Australian donor James Harrison saves 2 million babies in half a century of donating rare blood

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This Australian man has been donating blood continuously for 56 years, and has saved the lives of 2.2 MILLION babies who have a different blood factor than their mother. I donate blood regularly and have always wanted to do stem cells, but this guy is one of humanity's great philanthropists.

He has donated over 1000 times.

An Australian man who has been donating his extremely rare kind of blood for 56 years has saved the lives of more than two million babies.

James Harrison, 74, has an antibody in his plasma that stops babies dying from Rhesus disease, a form of severe anaemia.

He has enabled countless mothers to give birth to healthy babies, including his own daughter, Tracey, who had a healthy son thanks to her father's blood.


His blood has since led to the development of a vaccine called Anti-D.

He said: 'I've never thought about stopping. Never.' He made a pledge to be a donor aged 14 after undergoing major chest surgery in which he needed 13 litres of blood.

'I was in hospital for three months,' he said. 'The blood I received saved my life so I made a pledge to give blood when I was 18.' 

Just after he started donating he was found to have the rare and life-saving antibody in his blood.

At the time, thousands of babies in Australia were dying each year of Rhesus disease. Other newborns suffered permanent brain damage because of the condition.

The disease creates an incompatibility between the mother's blood and her unborn baby's blood. It stems from one having Rh-positive blood and the other Rh-negative.

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