Fort Hood: Blood Donors Honored For Saving Soldiers’ Lives

By: Brittany Semadeni Email
By: Brittany Semadeni Email

FORT HOOD (April 4, 2013)--Robertson Blood Bank, a blood center that collects blood to help save the lives of soldiers overseas and at home, has released the names of their top donors.

Every day blood is collected and every week blood is shipped to injured soldiers in Afghanistan, or elsewhere, as well as soldiers at the Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center.

Two of the blood bank’s top donors, Staff Sgt. Patience Waycaster and Maj. Thomas Nessler III both work at Fort Hood’s hospital.

Waycaster donates a pint of O-positive blood every 56 days and is the non-commissioned officer in charge of hospital education.

She is a mother of two who has served as a combat medic since 2006.

“Waycaster said she didn’t count how many times she donated whole blood, instead she made her donations count by giving every time she could,” blood donor recruiter Catherine Tharpe said.

The top platelet donor from 2012 donated 20 times.

Nessler served just over 5 years in the Army, was honorably discharged and went to college.

After completing medical school Nessler started scheduling is platelet donations around his night shifts as a physician in the ER at the hospital.

“I am a healthy young guy. I have good blood and there are those that need it,” Nessler said.

Platelet donations can take up to three hours during which a small portion of blood (about 1/4 pint at a time), is drawn and passed through a sophisticated cell-separating machine. The machine collects the platelets and safely returns the remaining blood components, along with some saline, back to the donor, according to the American Red Cross.

Despite their significant contributions at the Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center, the Army will be moving both Waycaster and Nessler to other military installations later this year.

For more information about the Armed Services Blood Program, visit their website.

Armed Services Blood Program

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