Australian man donates blood every week for 60 years, saves 2 mi - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Australian man donates blood every week for 60 years, saves 2 million babies

Posted: Updated:

An Australian man who spent most of his life giving blood retired on Friday.

James Harrison has donated blood every week for 60 years. He's made over 1,000 donations in total and, according to the Australian Red Cross Blood Service, has saved the lives of over 2 million babies.

The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that in Australia he's known as the “man with the golden arm.” The 81-year-old’s blood is special. It has disease-fighting antibodies that have been used to develop the Anti-D injection, which helps combat Rhesus D Haemolytic Disease, or HDN.

The illness occurs when a pregnant woman’s blood begins attacking her unborn baby’s blood cells, causing brain damage or death for the baby. 

Doctors aren't sure why Harrison's blood contains these antibodies, but once he learned of them, he began donating blood plasma to help more people.

In Australia, people aren't allowed to donate blood past the age of 81, so Harrison has been forced into retirement. He hopes he's led by example and someone else will break his streak of donations.

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

He says he will continue to help health experts by donating DNA for future research.

“Australia owes a big thank you to James Harrison, Australia became the first country in the world to be self-sufficient in the supply of Anti-D, and cases of HDN are rare,” Australian Red Cross Blood Service spokesperson Jemma Falkenmire said. “We encourage the partners and friends of all new mothers to think about donating blood, just one donation helps ensure someone has the chance to be a mother.”

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Upriver/Beacon Fire now 20 percent contained

    Upriver/Beacon Fire now 20 percent contained

    Wednesday, July 18 2018 9:08 PM EDT2018-07-19 01:08:31 GMT

    SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. - Firefighters on the front lines of the Upriver Beacon fire are making progress on the 115-acre fire that started Tuesday evening.  Megan Hill, Public Information Officer for the fire, tells KHQ the fire is 20 percent contained as of Wednesday evening.

    >>

    SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. - Firefighters on the front lines of the Upriver Beacon fire are making progress on the 115-acre fire that started Tuesday evening.  Megan Hill, Public Information Officer for the fire, tells KHQ the fire is 20 percent contained as of Wednesday evening.

    >>
  • Post Falls man dies in Spokane Valley crash

    Post Falls man dies in Spokane Valley crash

    Wednesday, July 18 2018 1:13 AM EDT2018-07-18 05:13:40 GMT

    SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. - A Post Falls man died in a collision involving a motorcycle and semi truck Tuesday afternoon in Spokane Valley. Around 3:53 p.m., a Peterbilt semi-truck was heading westbound on Trent turning north into a private parking lot from the second lane when a Suzuki motorcycle in the first lane turned in front of the semi and collided. The driver of the motorcycle, 65-year-old Michael Arnold of Post Falls, was pronounced dead at the scene. 

    >>

    SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. - A Post Falls man died in a collision involving a motorcycle and semi truck Tuesday afternoon in Spokane Valley. Around 3:53 p.m., a Peterbilt semi-truck was heading westbound on Trent turning north into a private parking lot from the second lane when a Suzuki motorcycle in the first lane turned in front of the semi and collided. The driver of the motorcycle, 65-year-old Michael Arnold of Post Falls, was pronounced dead at the scene. 

    >>
  • Fire lined vs. fire containment: What's the difference?

    Fire lined vs. fire containment: What's the difference?

    Wednesday, July 18 2018 1:48 PM EDT2018-07-18 17:48:19 GMT

    SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. - We've had a lot of questions about what firefighters  are talking about when they say that the fire is 100 percent lined, but that the Upriver-Beacon fire is 0% contained. Here's the gist, according to firefighters: Containment is essentially their faith in the strength of the fire line. So when they say there is a line around 100 percent of the fire, but 0 percent containment, it means they are concerned that the fire could jump the line.

    >>

    SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. - We've had a lot of questions about what firefighters  are talking about when they say that the fire is 100 percent lined, but that the Upriver-Beacon fire is 0% contained. Here's the gist, according to firefighters: Containment is essentially their faith in the strength of the fire line. So when they say there is a line around 100 percent of the fire, but 0 percent containment, it means they are concerned that the fire could jump the line.

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • After rescue, Thai soccer boys pray for fortune at temple

    After rescue, Thai soccer boys pray for fortune at temple

    Thursday, July 19 2018 1:55 AM EDT2018-07-19 05:55:08 GMT
    Photo: Xinhua / RachenPhoto: Xinhua / Rachen

    CHIANG RAI, Thailand (AP) - The Thai soccer boys and their coach have attended a Buddhist ceremony at a temple to protect them against misfortunes, a day after they were discharged from a hospital following their rescue from a flooded cave. The 11 boys and the coach - the remaining team member is reportedly a Muslim - were joined by relatives and friends at the temple in the northern province of Chiang Rai, where they sat and put their hands together to the tune of chanting monks.

    >>

    CHIANG RAI, Thailand (AP) - The Thai soccer boys and their coach have attended a Buddhist ceremony at a temple to protect them against misfortunes, a day after they were discharged from a hospital following their rescue from a flooded cave. The 11 boys and the coach - the remaining team member is reportedly a Muslim - were joined by relatives and friends at the temple in the northern province of Chiang Rai, where they sat and put their hands together to the tune of chanting monks.

    >>
  • Washington man sentenced for Manchester shooting

    Washington man sentenced for Manchester shooting

    Thursday, July 19 2018 1:40 AM EDT2018-07-19 05:40:07 GMT

    PORT ORCHARD, Wash. (AP) - A Washington state man has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for shooting a man while he was sleeping.    The Kitsap Sun reports 22-year-old Robert Hackett was sentenced last week after pleading guilty to attempted first-degree murder. The Kitsap County Sheriff's Office says Hackett, a woman and the victim were inside a house in Manchester in January after spending the day together. Hackett later shot the victim in the arm while he slept. 

    >>

    PORT ORCHARD, Wash. (AP) - A Washington state man has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for shooting a man while he was sleeping.    The Kitsap Sun reports 22-year-old Robert Hackett was sentenced last week after pleading guilty to attempted first-degree murder. The Kitsap County Sheriff's Office says Hackett, a woman and the victim were inside a house in Manchester in January after spending the day together. Hackett later shot the victim in the arm while he slept. 

    >>
  • Illinois man stabs himself after jury's guilty verdict

    Illinois man stabs himself after jury's guilty verdict

    Thursday, July 19 2018 1:21 AM EDT2018-07-19 05:21:16 GMT

    BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (AP) - Authorities say a central Illinois man stabbed himself in a courtroom shortly after a jury found him guilty in a sexual assault case. The Pantagraph reports 78-year-old Johnny Icard was sitting alone Wednesday at a defense table in Bloomington where he had represented himself at trial. When the judge said he was revoking Icard's bond, the Bloomington man said he had family affairs to attend to and wasn't expecting the verdict.   

    >>

    BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (AP) - Authorities say a central Illinois man stabbed himself in a courtroom shortly after a jury found him guilty in a sexual assault case. The Pantagraph reports 78-year-old Johnny Icard was sitting alone Wednesday at a defense table in Bloomington where he had represented himself at trial. When the judge said he was revoking Icard's bond, the Bloomington man said he had family affairs to attend to and wasn't expecting the verdict.   

    >>