Regina Weistock, 93, hospital technician

April 03, 2006

Regina "Reggie" Weistock, who worked as a technician in the hematology laboratory at Johns Hopkins Hospital for 61 years and was a devoted student of Judaism, died of Parkinson's disease complications March 27 at the Jewish Convalescent and Nursing Home in Pikesville. She was 93.

Born and raised in the Park Heights section of Baltimore, she earned a bachelor's degree from Goucher College in Towson.

Upon graduation, she began to volunteer in the Johns Hopkins hematology lab. She trained for six months with Dr. Maxwell Wintrobe, who then hired her as a medical technician. Among her duties, she taught medical students and residents how to read blood smears during their hematology rotations.

Ms. Weistock, who was head hematology lab technician for many years before her retirement in 1993, said she never worked a day in her life because she so loved her job, recalled Anne Steinacker, a close family friend in Pikesville.

In 1938, after noticing a recurring abnormality in the blood of several family members of Italian descent, Ms. Weistock helped discover a blood disease associated with an isolated form of anemia. Technicians from around the world sent Ms. Weistock blood smears to analyze and relied on her opinion. Several hematology journals discussed her findings.

Though she had no children of her own, Ms. Weistock acted as a mother to her grandniece, Tobi Silverberg, who moved from California to Baltimore to seek medical treatment as a teenager. Ms. Silverberg visited Ms. Weistock almost daily at the nursing home in Pikesville where she lived for the past 10 years.

After Ms. Silverberg died of kidney failure in early February at age 62, Ms. Weistock lost her will to live, Ms. Steinacker said. "She wouldn't eat, she wouldn't take her medicine," she said. "She just wanted to die."

Ms. Weistock dedicated herself to Torah study as a member of the Beth Jacob Congregation in Park Heights. She traveled the world, from Spain to China. She also knitted caps for Sinai Hospital's newborn babies to wear.

A funeral service was held Wednesday.

She has no immediate survivors.

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