At the age of 14, James Harrison underwent major chest surgery which required 13 liters of blood and three months recovery. James, realizing the importance of blood, promised to donate blood as soon as he turned eighteen (18).
When he was finally able to donate, Doctors realized that he carries a rare immune globulin that prevent unborn babies from suffering from Rhesus disease, severe form of anemia which causes brain damage or death for newborns. His blood was later used to create vaccines to fight rhesus.
In 59 years, Harrison has given blood more than 1,000 times. It is estimated that he have saved 2.4 million babies, which includes her daughter’s child.
On June 1999, Harrison was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia, one of the highest honors given to citizens who have done extraordinary service. He also gained the nickname “The man with the golden arm”.