The Story of a Man that has Golden Blood, Saved over 2 Million Babies

The Rhesus Blood Group And Pregnancies; What You Must Know?

The Immense Contribution of James Christopher Harrison Towards Understanding How The Rhesus Blood Group System Affects Pregnancies.

Let me tell you the story if this man who obviously has golden blood. But before that, let me explain what made his blood golden.

If you check your blood group, you're either you're A+, A-, B+, B-, AB+, AB-, O+ or O-. If you have + on your own (A+, B+, AB+, O+), it means you have a protein called Rhesus factor (Rh) on the surface of your red blood cells. So, you're refered to as Rh positive. If yours is negative (A-, B-, AB-, O-), it means you don't have the Rhesus factor. So, you're Rh negative.

When an Rh positive man impregnates an Rh negative woman, her body rexognises the Rh+ antigen as foreign and then produces antibodies to counter it. Let me digress a bit and explain what antigen and antibody mean.

An antigen is a substance that enters the body and triggers an immune response. They are recognised by the immune system as “non-self” or harmful, triggering an immune response.

An antibody, also known as an immunoglobulin, is a protein produced by the immune system in response to an antigen. Antibodies act as a “marker” to identify and target the antigen for destruction by other immune cells. They're like the agents government send to mark an illegal building (antigen) for demolition. In their case however, no politicking is allowed. Once the building is marked, demolition ensues.

Let's continue. When a woman's body has been previously sensitized to the Rh antigen, the next child might be in trouble. This happens when the father of the previous pregnancy is Rh+, leading to the conception of an Rh+ positive baby.

During the first pregnancy, the Rh-negative woman's immune system may not react immediately, but her body may remember the Rh antigen and produce antibodies if she is exposed to it again in a future pregnancy. This is called sensitization.

If she becomes pregnant again with an Rh-positive baby, her immune system may launch an immune response, producing antibodies that can attack the baby's red blood cells. This has partly led to the death of many children in the past. Some of the babies we call “àbíkú” were under this category.

For this problem not to happen, women who are Rh- are advised to receive a medication known as Rh immune globulin (RhIg) during pregnancy and after delivery to prevent sensitization and potential complications in future pregnancies.

How did the man in the picture come into the picture? Let's continue That's where the man in the picture came in. His name is James Christopher Harrison. He has reportedly been making blood donations every week for the past 60 years and has helped saved the lives if 2.4 million babies.

Harrison had a chest surgery when he was 14 and needed blood. Seeing that the blood donated by others saved his life, Harrison decided to start donating blood himself. A few years later, doctors discovered his blood contained the antibody which could be used to create Anti-D injections and that was the beginning.

You might be wondering about what an Anti-D injection is. Remember that I mentioned RhIg in part 2/3? Anti-D injection and RhIg are related but not exactly the same thing.

Anti-D injection, also known as anti-D immunoglobulin, is a specific type of RhIg. It contains antibodies against the D antigen, which is a part of the Rh antigen complex. In other words, anti-D injection is a specific type of RhIg that targets the D antigen, which is the most important antigen in the Rh complex. In a nutshell, all Anti-D are RhIg but not all RhIg are anti-D.

Back to Harrison, he started making blood plasma donations to help as many people as possible. Doctors aren't exactly sure why Harrison has this rare blood type, but they think it might be from the transfusions he received when he was 14, after his surgery. Anyways, people who have that type of blood are so rare that there are not up to 50 in the whole of Australia.

Harrison retired in 2018 when he clocked 81 as Australia policy prohibit donation of blood by people who are above 81. He made 1,173 donations in total. Harrison's selfless acts have been recognized with numerous awards, including the Medal of the Order of Australia and the title of Australian Hero of the Year.

Tainkyu ✌🏾

@arojinle1

This man's blood saved over 2 million babies. James Harrison, known as the “Man with the Golden Arm,” is retiring after giving blood every week for the last 60 years.

Last updated on July 15th, 2024 at 11:32 pm

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