James Harrison hails from Australia and his unique blood type has earned him the tag ‘man with the golden arm’. It all started when he received a blood transfusion that saved his life at 14 years when he underwent an invasive chest surgery. Harrison was so grateful that he vowed to repay it by becoming a blood donor when he was old enough. Little did he know that he possessed a special gift.
He came good on his word when he turned 18. He became a regular donor, and by the time he hit 74 in 2010, he had donated blood a staggering 984 times, and was looking to reach the 1000 milestone by the end of that year. James Harrison has an extremely rare blood type. His blood has an exceptional antibody that can save babies diagnosed with Rhesus disease, a lethal form of anemia.
He has been donating blood ever since he reached 18, and by 2010, it was estimated that he was responsible for helping over 2 million babies live! The passing of his wife, to whom he had been married to for 56 years, did not deter him.
‘It was sad but life marches on and we have to continue doing what we do. She’s up there looking down, so I carry on,’ he was quoted as saying.