After a few years of donating, doctors were shocked to find that his blood contained an antibody that directly neutralizes rhesus disease: a risky condition in which a pregnant woman's blood attacks her unborn child. Now the Australia Red Cross Blood Services have started a three-year research project using his DNA to try to develop a solution.
After donating for the last time today, Mr Harrison issued a challenge to others to break his incredible record, "because it will mean they are dedicated to the cause". Known as the "Man with the Golden Arm", Harrison has rare antibodies in his blood that can be used for injections that save babies' lives.
Since 1976, Harrison's blood has been used in more than 3 million injections given to Rh-negative Australian women, the organization says.
Harrison has just given his blood from his "golden arm" for the last time but the bittersweet moment is nothing short of a memorable for him.
" We motivate the companions and also close friends of all brand-new moms to think of contributing blood, simply one contribution assists make sure a person has the opportunity to be a mom".
The disease is caused when the blood of the pregnant women starts to attack the blood cells of the unborn baby. This could lead stillbirths, hearing impairment, blindness, or brain damage among children. That's a risky condition that develops when a woman has rhesus-negative blood (RhD negative) and has a baby in her womb with RhD positive blood. This medication helps remove the RhD blood cells in the fetus before it becomes sensitized.
The woman's body responds to the RhD positive blood by producing antibodies (infection-fighting molecules) that recognise the foreign blood cells and destroy them. Australia became the first country in the world to be self-sufficient in the supply of Anti-D.
Harrison's blood was RhD negative with RhD positive antibodies. This prevents the mother from developing an immunity from the baby's blood.