4 y j ) t ' I ! I V 'it i ft s s 9 i & J. Kin Higly Oemocrat and Chronicle Joseph Witzigman, a longtime donor, with Peggy Harter, who has received his blood in treatments for aplastic anemia. Many a heart beats with his blood After 201 visits, donor, 71, finally meets a recipient By James Goodman Democrat and Chronicle Joseph Witzigman has been the life-blood life-blood life-blood for dozens of people, but not until the Rochester American Red Cross chapter honored him yesterday did he meet anyone who had received his blood. Witzigman, 71, who gave his first pint of blood more than four decades ago, said it was just another day at the blood bank. But for Peggy Harter, who has aplastic anemia, a disorder that retards blood cell production, it was a day to remember. remember. "I don't know what I'd do without you," Harter, 27, of 227 Benton St., told Witzigman as she walked into the first-floor first-floor first-floor room of the Red Cross building at 50 Prince St. There Witzigman, of 283 Stowell Drive, Greece, was hooked up to a cell separator a machine that draws blood, separates it into its component parts by high-speed high-speed high-speed spinning, siphons off the parts needed, and then returns the rest to the donor. The entire process is called pheresis. In 1971, the local Red Cross became the first chapter in the country to use a cell separator. Witzigman, a retired Eastman Eastman Kodak maintenance worker who gave his first pint of blood as a patriotic gesture during World War II, was honored honored yesterday because he has been connected connected to this machine more than anyone anyone else in the area 201 times. 4 t MM Cell separator machine is used in pheresis blood donations at the Rochester American Red Cross offices at 50 Prince Street. r" g!-itM"w"'11111111 g!-itM"w"'11111111 g!-itM"w"'11111111 m i i V? I ' I ' it w 1 f I & 4! w 1 "You can give more often and give to more people," said Witzigman about the advantages of being a pheresis donor. He comes once a month for a two-hour two-hour two-hour stay on the machine. About 45 Western New York hospitals rely on the blood products platelets, plasma and white blood cells made available by pheresis, said Donna Ken-nelly, Ken-nelly, Ken-nelly, director of pheresis for the local Red Cross. Last year about 450 pheresis donors, who are carefully screened, helped about 350 patients. Pheresis recipients often suffer from severe blood disorders and are in immediate immediate need of certain blood components to fight infection and stop bleeding. While Witzigman and Harter chatted, a small plastic bag attached to the machine machine filled up with plasma containing platelets, which are blood cells essential for clotting. The yellow liquid in the bag was all that was removed from Witzigman's blood supply. Witzigman will replenish the platelets and plasma in his blood stream within a few days, Kennelly said. Harter learned she suffers from aplastic aplastic anemia about six years ago. She initially initially received platelet transfusions every few months but now needs them twice a week and regular blood transfusions almost almost weekly. She said she still bleeds a lot longer than most people when cut, and her bruises heal slowly. But the platelet transfusions made possible by Witzigman Witzigman and other donors allow her to survive. survive. "The disease was usually fatal in a short time until this kind of blood product product was available," said Dr. James P. AuBuchon, director of blood services for the local Red Cross.