When Lin Xiaofen began dating Lian Zhicheng, a man from her hometown of Hinschu in Taiwan, the pair believed that they had a special bond. However, it wasn’t until later on in the couple’s relationship that they realized just how incredible their connection was. You see, unbeknownst to the pair, they’d actually crossed paths before: Lian had saved Lin’s life many years before he’d even met her.
But the lover’s vital gift had been decades in the making. In particular, the 20th century saw a number of medical advancements that improved the lives of people around the world. And one of these major breakthroughs came in 1901, when Austrian biologist Karl Landsteiner discovered the ABO blood groups. Crucially, the important development allowed blood transfusions to be made safer than ever before.
However, scientists had been trying to perfect blood transfusions for many years before Landsteiner’s discovery. In fact, research on the subject had started way back in the 17th century, when English physician William Harvey successfully transferred blood between animals. When animal blood was pumped into humans, though, the results were often deadly.