Jew Gives His ‘irish’ Blood to Save Life of American Lad
Menu JTA Search

Jew Gives His ‘irish’ Blood to Save Life of American Lad

Download PDF for this date

Twelve-year-old Stanley Walker lay seriously ill, dying, in New York Hospital.

The dread and baffling streptococcus infection had doctors shaking their heads. A transfusion was needed, all of which wouldn’t have been very difficult, but the donor had to possess special qualifications.

First, his blood had to be of the same blood group as Stanley’s. And then it was necessary that he previously had suffered a streptococcus infection and was cured by a transfusion.

Leon Zaskevich, a furrier, read the story of the boy’s sad plight. A transfusion only two years ago had been the means of his recovery from a similar infection.

Volunteering for the transfusion, a last hope, Zaskevich was tested and rushed down to the hospital.

Stanley, so his father informed Zaskevich yesterday, is now on the road to recovery.

Thirty years old, Zaskevich is a Russian Jew. But mixed with this blood is a little of old Erin. For Zaskevich’s blood donor of a few years ago was an Irishman.

The furrier, ever since his recovery, had called himself an Irish Jew. “I was always kibitizing,” he said, “about my Irish blood. And I always felt that if it were not for my Irish blood I would not today be ##ve.”

Though he doesn’t willingly talk about it, Zaskevich said he immediately volunteered his services as a blood donor when he realized that his blood might be of the desired type.

Though he never has met the donor who saved his life, Zaskevich is anxious to see Stanley as soon as he is sufficiently recovered. “He, too,” he remarked, “will have a bit of Irish in him.” But it didn’t occur to him that the youngster will also have Jewish blood to fuse with the Irish and his own native stock.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund