'Golden Arm' Blood Donor Retires After Saving 2.4 Million Babies

On May 11, 2018, James Harrison gave his 1,173rd and final blood donation, a habit he committed to for the last 60 years.

Known as "The Man With the Golden Arm," Harrison's blood contains a rare antibody that is used as a component of a lifesaving medication called Anti-D, used to protect unborn babies from potentially deadly blood incompatible with their pregnant mothers. 

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Harrison's blood has been used in every single dose of the Anti-D medication since 1967, and has saved more than 2.4 million babies throughout the last 50 years.

Harrison's life was also saved by blood donors during heart surgery at age 13 and was the original reason he became a blood donor himself as soon as he was 18.  Even with a fear of needles, Harrison committed to this lifesaving act since he had been a recipient of someone else's selfless act. 

At age 81, Harrison has now reached the legally mandated cutoff age for giving blood in Australia. 

In honor of the countless lives he saved and in order to continue his legacy, we ask that you consider giving blood at your local blood donation center. 

And to you, James Harrison, we thank you!