By all accounts, I shouldn’t even be alive… shouldn’t be sitting here writing this article.
And I owe my life to a wonderful Australian, James Harrison.
You see, before I was born my mum could not come full term with her pregnancies and it was all because of Rhesus disease (an RH blood problem – a form of severe anaemia), that results in babies dying, or having permanent brain damage or anaemia. I had heard the story all through my life of the two brothers I will never meet, had read the news clippings that my mum stuck inside my baby book about the wonder serum, and listened to what my mum had to go through to ensure I came into the world.
For some reason unbeknownst to me at the time, I felt compelled to watch the current affairs program this Sunday just gone, called ‘Sunday Night’. And I was totally blown away when I started listening to the story of the Accidental Hero, James Harrison. Because here I was, some 39 years later, hearing about the story of the man who made my birth possible.
Here is a true hero, dubbed the man with the golden arm 🙂
For the last 56 years, James Harrison, who is now 74 and has an extremely rare blood type that has a life-saving antibody, has religiously given blood every few weeks and, in September of this year, will commemorate his 1000th blood donation. Wow! After he first started donating, it led to the development of a vaccine called Anti-D, and James was so valuable they even insured him for 1 million Australian dollars!
Well, fast forward to today, and because of his generosity to donate in the first place – and be a guinea pig (for want of a better word) and keep on donating – Mr James Harrison has helped save 2.2 million babies so far; and I’m one of them 🙂 Yes, I did say 2.2 MILLION.
It made me cry with deep gratitude… I just couldn’t believe what I was watching – after all these years! 🙂 I think God / The Universe was telling me to watch that program for some reason.
So why am I telling you all of this? Because unfortunately, not enough Australians (I don’t know about other parts of the world) are donating blood each year…
If it wasn’t for James Harrison, I wouldn’t be here, and 2.2 million other babies would either not be alive or suffering from brain damage or other health conditions. Just think about that for a minute. 2.2 million babies. All because one man decided to donate blood, that resulted in a vaccine to allow 2.2 million babies to live – and with healthy lives. THAT is amazing!
Regardless of where you live in the world, let’s take a pledge to donate blood – even if you can only do it once; that’s okay. Once may be enough, because you may very well be saving another person’s life. I’ve never even thought about it myself until now, but I hereby say to you that I am taking the pledge. And I’ll post about it when I’ve donated 🙂
Please take the time to view this 8-minute video about James Harrison. It will touch your heart.
View it here:
My goodness, it is SO GREAT to be alive and kicking!!! 😉
PS: Please remember to take the pledge!
Oh, Tara! How wonderful for you to see this at this particular time in your life! You know that everything happens when it’s time. And for you, it came at just the right time. What an awesome and humble man. And we are so glad that his gift brought us you! You are a beautiful soul. Thank you James Harrison!
Mindy, thank you for your lovely comments 🙂 I agree, he is so humble… a miracle to so many people. We are blessed that he is in the world doing what he is doing. Catch up with you soon 🙂
I’m glad you watched the story of James Harrison, Tara. As an Anti-D donor myself, I sometimes feel like one of the Men in Black … nobody knows we exist, yet without us many people wouldn’t be alive! Back in 1998, I made a decision that, on my first day of my holidays, I would give blood. I had no idea back then what Anti-D plasma donors were, let alone I could become one. It just goes to show, you should give blood – you too could have something special!
Thank you for telling me your story Eligius 🙂 I’m excited to begin my blood donor journey! I live in a regional area without a dedicated centre, however, Red Cross visits every 3 months in a mobile van… I’m now registered and able to donate for the first time in early May!! I’ll keep you posted on my journey 🙂 It will be interesting to see if I am Anti-D!