Tuesday, May 29, 2018

The Man With The Golden Arm

This post may contain affiliate links, by which I may be financially compensated. See Disclosures.

Today I'd like to share an uplifting story about a man whose actions  impact the world positively.

James Harrison has made a difference in the world through the ripple effect.

What is the ripple effect? Have you ever seen a pond, where the surface of the water is calm, and then you throw a tiny pebble into it? That pebble *plunks* into that pond, and then ripples extend outward from that one point where the pebble entered the water all the way out to the shore.
Photo by zhang kaiyv on Unsplash

So what does it mean when a person has a ripple effect? That person has taken one action that has had rippled extensively outward from themselves, and that effect can be felt in a widening area throughout their community, their city, their state, their country, the world.

James Harrison is one such person.

James nearly died during surgery when he was in his teens, and a blood transfusion saved his life. At that time, he expressed the desire to his parents that he would want to help others the same way he was helped by blood donors. When he reached the legal age to start donating blood, James began to donate in his home country of Australia.

But James wasn't just ANY blood donor. Turns out, James' blood had a rare antibody that could help expectant mothers whose blood is incompatible with the blood of their unborn child, which causes issues such as still births, miscarriages, or birth defects. This syndrome is called Rhesus D Haemolytic Disease (HDN).

What happens is that if a woman with RH-negative blood is carrying a baby with RH-positive blood, the mother's blood attack's the baby because the mother's body thinks there is a foreign body in her system. The answer to this issue is to inject RH-negative mothers with a medication that averts that reaction from happening, and they need that injection every time they carry a child.

The  Anti-D immunoglobulin injection was developed through the plasma donations of people like James Harrison, who have that rare antibody.

If you've heard of this, did you ever wonder how that all started? Isn't medical science fascinating?

It is estimated that James, over the course of 60 years, has saved MILLIONS OF BABIES' LIVES.


2.4 million babies saved, by best estimates. How's that for a ripple effect?

James was forced to retire from donating blood when he reached the age of 81. However, his contributions were celebrated on his "retirement" day. He was thrown a huge party and  met several mothers and their babies who are alive today due to his donations.

His contributions were so great that they nicknamed James "The Man With The Golden Arm."

This story is so incredible to me, because you never know as you take that first step in donating your time, energy—or blood, even—how much impact you will have.

I hope this story serves as inspiration to get involved with something. You never know who you're going to affect, or how your contributions will raise goodwill among others!

Is there anyone inspiring you'd like to see featured here? Drop me a line and let me know!  And thank you, Mr. Harrison, for being a blood donor and having such a amazing impact in the world!! 🐝

 ~positively b.e.e. is on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Follow me there!~

SourcesToday / NYT / Australian Red Cross


  1. What a wonderful story. My life too was saved by a blood transfusion and although I was a donor for many years before, I am not longer allowed to return the favour. I am so glad James could save so many lives.

    1. Isn't it all just amazing? I'm so glad you liked it, Sarah. :)

  2. Wow! I wonder what would be the impact if we do it to others too. This is very inspiring!


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Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, by which I may be financially compensated. See  Disclosures  for more info.  It’s finally...