Dubbed as the “man with the golden arm”, James Harrison has already saved more than two million lives. If you are wondering how he did this, it all started when he was 14-years-old.
In 1950, he had to undergo a chest surgery that required approximately 13 liters or 3.5 gallons of blood. When people heard about his urgent need, blood donations poured. The incident made him realize how far a blood donation can go. And since then, he promised himself to start donating blood when he turns 18.
Then it happened. It was then found out that an extremely rare antibody that contains the cure for rhesus disease, a disease that causes death or brain damage to newborns, is carried in his blood. It is so perfect that his life has been insured by researchers for $1 million.
When he knew about this, he decided to donate blood on a regular basis. So far, his blood donations have saved 2.4 million babies, including the life of her daughter.
His act of selflessness and kindness earned him a Medal of the Order of Australia, which is considered one of the greatest achievements a local in Australia can have for an great service to the country.
Despite being hailed as a hero, James believes:
“The people on the front line, the police, the emergency services, they’re the heroes because they’re out there doing it. I just catch the train down to Sydney from the Central Coast as often as I can, read a good book, donate and come back. An hour of your time is a lifetime for someone else.”