A man in Buffalo, New York is in the intensive care unit with fourth-degree frostbite after being saved by two strangers during the city’s “once in a lifetime” blizzard over the weekend.
According to CNN, Sha’Kyra Aughtry and her boyfriend Trent were at home on Christmas Eve when they heard Joe White calling out for help during the massive snowstorm.
Aughtry’s boyfriend rushed White inside, where he discovered his clothes frozen to his body and ice covering his exposed hands, according to the news outlet.
After calling 911 and not receiving a response, the mother of three used a blow dryer to melt the ice that had caked up on his body. She also started a Facebook Livestream to get medical advice to assist him.
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“I’ve called the National Guard. I’ve called 911. I’ve called everybody – they just keep telling me I’m on a list. I don’t want to be on a list,” Aughtry said on her live stream about treating White, who is developmentally disabled and believed to have ventured out in the sub-zero conditions to work his job at a nearby movie theater.
“I don’t care about nothing else,” Aughtry added. “This man is not about to die over here.”
“I’m going crazy because I’m scared,” she continued on the live stream. “I’m starting to see his body change too much from the time that I had him – his body has changed rapidly every hour.”
In response to Aughtry’s videos, some good samaritans came to her home to assist. They brought White to the hospital, where he is now recovering.
Ray Barker, White’s employer at the North Park Theater, told CNN that White became disoriented after leaving the group home where lives on Christmas Eve morning during the snowstorm. He may have believed he needed to go to work despite having the day off.
“He was in a mess,” Barker told CNN. “And (Aughtry) clearly saved his life.”
“We’ve been worried sick about Joe,” Barker added. “We know that he’s getting good medical care at the moment and we can’t wait for him to get back to the theater.”
Chris Dearing, who says he is an employee of the theater in Buffalo, started a GoFundMe campaign to thank Aughtry for her generosity and saving his friend’s life. In just three days it has reached over $168,000.
In an Instagram post, Aughtry said she has “been overwhelmed with the love and support from people all over the world” and asked that everyone continue to “Pray for Joey”.
White’s sister, Yvonne White, is also grateful to Aughtry and her boyfriend. “We were all trying to help each other and it was wonderful,” she told CNN. “And now I feel like I have a sister and three nephews,” she added, regarding Sha’Kyra and her three sons.
On Friday, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said that there were 39 deaths across the local area during the region’s epic storm.