Man who saved 2.4 million babies by donating blood 'retires'

Mr Harrison’s kindness leaves a remarkable legacy and he has put the challenge out to the Australian community to beat

Mr Harrison’s kindness leaves a remarkable legacy and he has put the challenge out to the Australian community to beat

After 1173 donations, the 81-year-old has finally hung up his blood bag.

According to the Australian Red Cross Blood Service, Harrison has made almost 1,100 blood donations throughout his lifetime and has saved the lives of over 2.4 million Australian babies.

Harrison, now 81 years old, didn't always know that his blood literally had the power to save lives.

Harrison has a unique blood type, which contains potent antibody which was used to create the Anti-d injection that helps to fight Rhesus D haemolytic Disease (HDN) in unborn babies.

"They asked me to be a guinea pig, and I've been donating ever since", Mr. Harrison said.

Harrison's blood is just as extraordinary as his blood donation history.

An Australian man is being hailed a hero after donating blood that has saved millions of babies' lives.

The disease is caused when the blood of the pregnant women starts to attack the blood cells of the unborn baby. He is one of fewer than 50 people in Australia known to have the antibodies, the blood service said.

According to CNN, doctors are unsure why Mr Harrison has this rare blood type, but they concluded that it might have been triggered from the transfusions he received while a teenager, after his operation, which saved his life. That's a unsafe condition that develops when a woman has rhesus-negative blood (RhD negative) and has a baby in her womb with RhD positive blood. The terrifying complications of HDN may include anemia, jaundice, heart failure, brain damage, and even death.

It only happens when the mother has rhesus-negative blood (RhD negative) and the baby in her womb has rhesus-positive blood (RhD positive). This medication helps remove the RhD blood cells in the fetus before it becomes sensitized. As her body starts feeling the baby's blood cells as a "foreign threat", she may then start producing antigens that can be prove to be risky for the baby. His body produces a combination of RhD-negative blood and Rh+ antibodies. After more than a decade of whole blood donations, his unique antibodies were discovered, and he switched over to donating plasma instead.

If she is pregnant with an RhD-positive baby, the antibodies can cross the placenta, causing rhesus disease in the unborn baby.

It is uncommon these days because it can usually be prevented using injections of anti-D immunoglobulin.

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