James Harrison was just 14 years old when he had complicated chest surgery. Blood donations saved his life. That is what inspired the Australian to become a blood donor.
A few years later, doctors discovered that James’s blood contained a rare antibody that is used to make Anti-D injections that help fight the rhesus disease. The disease is a condition where a pregnant woman’s blood actually starts attacking her unborn baby’s blood cells. That results in brain damage to the fetus and even death.
James has donated blood nearly every week for 60 years before he ‘retired’ at the age of 81. James and his donations have saved an estimated 2.4 million babies. For his selfless contributions, James has become a national hero and won numerous awards.
His own daughter was a recipient of Anti-D. "That resulted in my second grandson being born healthy," he commented. "And that makes you feel good yourself that you saved a life there, and you saved many more and that's great.”