There are countless people throughout history who have changed the lives of millions, yet many of them are little-known or not known at all. While a myriad of inventors, painters, and celebrities are household names, there are plenty of other men and women whose impact is just as significant. The following is a collection of 6 people you most likely do not know but you probably should.
1. James Harrison
Also referred to as the Man With the Golden Arm, James Harrison’s unique blood has saved countless lives since he started donating in 1954.
After undergoing a life-saving chest surgery at the age of 14, he vowed to donate blood for the rest of his life as soon as he turned the legal age. It was soon discovered that his blood contained unusually potent antibodies that fight against the D Rh group antigen. This led to the development of products which could prevent hemolytic disease of the newborn (HDN), the most common of which is Rhesus disease.
It is estimated that Harrison’s blood plasma donations have saved the lives of over 2.4 million babies, including his own daughter Tracey who was treated using his antibodies.
In May 2011, Harrison was able to reach his 1000th blood plasma donation — averaging one donation every three weeks over a period of close to six decades.