For six decades, ‘the man with the golden arm’ donated blood — and saved 2.4 million babies

In 1951, a 14-year-old Australian boy named James Harrison awoke from a major chest operation. Doctors had removed one of his lungs in a procedure that had taken several hours — and would keep him hospitalized for three months.

But Harrison was alive, thanks in large part to a vast quantity of transfused blood he had received, his father explained.

“He said that I had 13 units of blood and my life had been saved by unknown people,” Harrison told CNN’s Sanjay Gupta decades later.

At the time, Australia’s laws required blood donors to be at least 18 years old. It would be four years before Harrison was eligible, but he vowed then that he too would become a blood



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