January-February 2021 – An Australian man is credited with saving the lives of 2.4 million preborn children. Known as “the man with the golden arm,” James Harrison’s (photo above) blood produces a rare antibody that saves lives.
At a young age, Harrison’s life was saved as a result of numerous blood transfusions. Inspired by the generosity of strangers who donated their blood, he decided to do the same.
At age 18, he began donating, and 10 years later, the miraculous antibody was discovered in his blood. It prompted him to join a unique program designed to collect the antibody. Harrison’s blood now enables successful pregnancy for mothers at risk of developing a disease that attacks unborn babies, usually causing miscarriage or stillbirth.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported that, over the course of 60 years, Harrison has made 1,173 donations. He was the first donor to give to the lifesaving program. At 81, he donated for the last time, his age being the only factor preventing him from continuing.
“They asked me to be a guinea pig, and I’ve been donating ever since,” Harrison said. “I’d keep going if they’d let me.”