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It develops when the mom has rhesus-negative blood and the infant has rhesus-positive blood, inherited from the father. The different antigens cause the mother’s body to harm the baby.
Although doctors are unsure why Harrison’s blood contains the rare antibody that fights the disease, they believe it’s likely due to a major chest surgery he had that required a blood transfusion.
He was 14 at the time and vowed to become a blood donor after he recovered. And once doctors discovered his blood was one-of-a-kind, he began offering blood plasma donations to help even more people.
Now it’s time for him to retire. Australia doesn’t allow citizens to give past age 81. However, Harrison, who has received numerous awards for his generosity, will continue to help health experts by donating his DNA samples for future research.
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