That’s Outrageous: 3 Medical Miracles That Will Shock You
How one man saved millions of lives—and other unbelievable health stories.
When Karma Saved the Day
Calgary resident Mark Tyndale has given blood a whopping 870-plus times. For the 59-year-old, donating was a simple way to save lives. But in 2013 he found himself on the other side of the equation when he was rushed to hospital with a deadly flesh-eating disease. Fortunately, what goes around comes around. Miraculously, Tyndale survived after receiving 11 litres of gamma globulin that, given his prolific donor record, quite possibly contained his very own plasma.
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Blood Donor Saves Millions of Babies
In 1951, Australia native James Harrison received a life-saving blood transfusion. Inspired, he pledged to become a donor himself. It’s a good thing he did: 16 years later, his blood was found to contain an antibody that was used to create a vaccine that prevents hemolytic disease of the newborn, a blood disorder in which pregnant women form antibodies that attack their unborn children. While Harrison has since saved an estimated 2.4 million babies, this year he’ll be too old to legally donate. He’s calling on others to step in: “Roll up your sleeve, put out your arm and save lives,” he says.
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The Fountain of Youth
According to a San Francisco-based start-up, the fountain of youth really is filled with young blood. Ambrosia, founded by Stanford medical grad Jesse Karmazin, has developed a consumer-funded “clinical trial” in which participants pay $8,000 to receive an injection of blood plasma from donors who are 25 and younger. The plasma—procured from the U.S. blood supply—will make recipients feel smarter and more youthful, Karmazin claims. He attributes the benefits to growth factors and proteins, vital to cell function, which appear in greater volume in young blood. Ambrosia has completed 120-plus transfusions, but medical researchers have raised doubts over the trial, which features no control group and isn’t peer-reviewed.
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