The man with the golden blood

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The man with the golden blood (The man with the golden blood)

Meet the donors, patients, doctors and scientists involved in the complex global network of rare – and very rare – blood. By Penny Bailey.

His doctor drove him over the border. It was quicker that way: if the man donated in Switzerland, his blood would be delayed while paperwork was filled out and authorisations sought.

The nurse in Annemasse, France, could tell from the label on the blood bag destined for Paris that this blood was pretty unusual. But when she read the details closely, her eyes widened. Surely it was impossible for this man seated beside her to be alive, let alone apparently healthy?

Thomas smiled to himself. Very few people in the world knew his blood type did – could – exist. And even fewer shared it. In 50 years, researchers have turned up only 40 or so other people on the planet with the same precious, life-saving blood in their veins.

I only have pretty regular (ABO-type O, Rh D+) blood, but it pleased me to discover this article right after I’ve started donating blood again after a long dry spell.

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