Any person who saves the life of a fellow human being may rightfully be called a hero. By that measure, James Harrison, an 81-year-old resident of Australia, should be counted among history’s greatest heroes.
“The Man with the Golden Arm” has helped save the lives of 2.4 million babies by donating his blood 1,100 times, reports Livescience.com. He made his final donation in 2018 after giving blood for more than six decades.
Harrison’s unique blood type enabled him to save unborn babies who risked developing “Rh incompatibility” with their mothers, a condition in which the mother’s immune system destroy’s her fetus’s red blood cells. Harrison’s blood contains a rare antibody which can treat Rh incompatibility: Doctors extracted the antibody from Harrison’s blood samples and used it to manufacture the medication Rh immunoglobulin, which can prevent Rh incompatibility.
Without the medication, Rh incompatibility can lead to “a situation where a lot of these babies would have a significant amount of their red cells broken down while they were in the womb,” explained Dr. Saima Aftab, who directs the Fetal Care Center at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Miami. Untreated Rh incompatibility can cause fetal jaundice, brain damage, or even stillbirth, Aftab said. Aftab considers the treatment for Rh incompatibility “one of the biggest life-saving discoveries of the last century.”
The antibody used to make Rh immunoglobulin, however, remains relatively rare. The Australian Red Cross estimates that only 200 blood donors contribute antibodies to the country’s Rh immunoglobulin supply. Thankfully, one of those donors was The Man with the Golden Arm. Harrison contributed blood to every batch of Rh immunoglobulin Australia has ever produced, according to CNN.
Doctors believe Harrison developed the unique antibody when he received a large blood transfusion as a teenager. Subsequently, “his immune system revved up a high concentration of antibodies,” explained Aftab.
Harrison stopped donating blood last year because Australia does not accept donations from individuals over 80. The Australian Red Cross also urged him to stop giving blood in order to safeguard his health. After 60 years on the job, Harrison has surely earned the right to retire.
Over the last four years, the Indian government has made it their goal to provide sanitation for the entire nation. In those four years, thousands of lives have been saved.
Over the course of these four years, the Indian government improved public access to toilets and hygiene facilities. With this improvement, these facilities have increased India’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan sanitation coverage from 40% to 90% and is set to achieve total coverage by October 2019.
This initiative has already prevented 300,000 children dying from diarrhea and protein- energy malnutrition.
Before Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the initiative back in October 2014, unsafe sanitation caused an estimate of 200 million cases of dangerous gastrointestinal problems each year.
As the numbers dissipated, the government has been celebrating their significant victory over the public health crisis.
“The credit for saving these lives goes to every Indian who was a part of this campaign,” Prime Minister said in a translated statement. “Saving the lives of the poor children is surely a great humanitarian act and the world bodies are recognizing it.”
“A clean India would be the best tribute India could pay to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150th birthday in 2019.”
On Tuesday, local psychiatrist Dr. Satya Chandragiri announced on Facebook Live that he will be running for the Salem-Keizer School Board, Zone 4.
As a father of two Salem-Keizer school graduates and a highly involved member of the community for over 15 years, Chandragiri says he is ready to step in and make a difference.
“I’m running for the school board because I’m not happy with the status quo,” said Satya in a statement. “I believe every child can grow and develop to their full human potential, become a contributing, responsible citizen and member of our community and tackle the problems of tomorrow that we cannot even see. Future generations can do better than what we have done. We need bold leadership to ensure our schools can make this dream happen for our kids and generations to come.”
Dr. Satya’s professional focus as a psychiatrist is mental illness, addiction and other serious challenges that afflict both adults and children. He hopes to bring a similar focus to his campaign, which is centered around child-first policies that address mental health, safety and welfare as well as teacher burnout.
Voters in the Salem-Keizer School District will be selecting three out of seven board members this May. Dr. Satya plans to file for office on the first day possible, February 11th. Zone 4 is currently represented by Jim Green who is retiring this year, according to the Salem Reporter.
Dr. Satya’s campaign website is https://satyafororegon.com.
Representative Rick Lewis, R-Silverton, has proposed legislation that will change the number of hearing aids Oregon Health Plan (OHP) grants. Patients who were granted only one hearing aid, every five years, will now have the hope and ability to hear in both ears.
Hearing aids have been inaccessible to low-income patients outside of their Medicare plan, sometimes costing them thousands of dollars. Those with hearing issues find themselves left only able to partially improve their hearing. Under the OHP plan, members were only granted one single hearing aid. Having only one hearing aid prevents the ability to hear from multiple directions.
“When people lose hearing in one ear, they typically lose it in both,” said Lewis. “If they have one hearing aid most sound comes from one direction.”
Because of Lewis’ prompting, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) began to review their budget and policies. The agency discovered that the federal government permits states to make administrative changes to the OHP hearing aid grants. OHP also found that providing a full set of hearing aids would be reasonably because of advances in hearing aid technology.
“The fact that it doesn’t cost additional money to make this happen is really important.”, Rep. Lewis stated.
The proposed legislation will help countless children in Oregon as well as adults. Oregonians who can’t hear may finally hear in both ears for the first time all thanks to Rep. Lewis.