81-Year-Old Who Saved More Than 2 Million Babies with His Plasma Gives His Last Blood Donation

Australian Red Cross
Australian Red Cross

A man who has donated blood for 60 years gave his final blood donation earlier this week after saving countless children.

James Harrison's blood has a precious antibody that is used to make a lifesaving medication called Anti-D, a medicine given to mothers whose blood is at risk of attacking their unborn babies. 

The 81-year-old made his last blood donation on Friday after having helped save the babies of more than two million Australian women, according to the Australian Red Cross Blood Service

More than 3 million doses of Anti-D containing his blood have been issued to Aussie mothers with a negative blood type since 1967, the organization said.

“I hope it’s a record that somebody breaks, because it will mean they are dedicated to the cause,” Harrison said 

Harrison had received blood donations himself as a 14-year-old and had a surgery to remove his lung.

“I had 13 units of blood and my life had been saved by unknown people,” Harrison told CNN in an earlier interview. 

Harrison then vowed that he would pay it forward when he turned 18. Blood donors must be 18 in Australia.

Scientists aren’t sure why Harrison’s body naturally produces the rare antibody but think it is related to the blood transfusions he received as a teenager, reports said.

At 81, Harrison had already surpassed the age limit allowed for donors. Doctors have now reportedly encouraged him to stop donating to protect his health.

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