A single man managed to save 2 million lives. And here’s how he did it.
Meet James Harrison – the man, who has saved the lives of 2 million babies.
James was born back in December 1936 in Australia. As a teenager he had to undergo a major surgery, during which he needed a total of 13 liters of blood. He spent three months in the hospital afterwards. Even though he was a teenager, James realized that the blood, which was donated from other people, had saved his life. Thus, he made a vow to himself – as soon as he became of age, he would start donating blood so that he could do what others did for him. He started donating blood when he turned 18 and the doctors almost immediately found out that his blood had something quite unusual – a persistent and surprisingly strong antibody. The same antibody can save the lives of both pregnant mothers and their unborn babies from a serious disease known as Rhesus disease. It’s the most common disease among the HDN (hemolytic diseases of the newborns).
By donating blood James was able to save millions of lives. He started donating blood plasma back in 1954 and in May 2011 he scored his 1000th donation of blood plasma. According to official reports, he saved the lives of 2.4 million babies and pregnant women. In fact, he even saved his own daughter’s life, because she had to be treated with the antibodies in his blood as well.
Commenting on his extraordinary heroism, James said only one thing – that he hoped somebody could break his record. He stated that it’s the only record he hoped would be broken, because it would mean that some other person has devoted himself to helping other people even more than he has.