The recent snowstorm that blanketed Buffalo, New York, was a “once in a lifetime” event that many won’t soon forget. However, for one man named Joe White, 64, it is one that he may very well owe his life to.
White, who is developmentally disabled and believed to have ventured out to work his job at a nearby movie theater, was rescued by two strangers who heard his cries for help.
Sha’Kyra Aughtry and her boyfriend Trent were at home on Christmas Eve when they heard White’s cries for help. Aughtry’s boyfriend quickly brought him inside and discovered his clothes frozen to his body and ice covering his exposed hands.
Aughtry then used a blow dryer to melt the ice that had caked his body and started a Facebook Livestream for medical advice after calling 911 and not being able to get a response.
“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. “I don‘t care about nothing else. This man is not about to die over here.”
“I‘m going crazy because I‘m scared,” she continued. “I‘m starting to see his body change too much from the time that I had him – his body has changed rapidly every hour.”
Fortunately, a group of strangers saw Aughtry’s videos and arrived at her home to help. They then carried White outside wrapped in a blanket to their truck and drove him to the hospital, where he is currently recovering from his fourth-degree frostbite. Aughtry’s quick thinking and determination to help White likely saved his life.
White’s boss at North Park Theater, Ray Barker, expressed his gratitude for Aughtry’s heroic actions. “We’ve been worried sick about Joe,” he said. “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.” The movie theater has since raised more than $50,000 for White’s recovery.
White’s sister, Yvonne White, is also indebted to Aughtry and her boyfriend. “We were all trying to help each other and it was wonderful,” she said. “And now I feel like I have a sister and three nephews,” she added, regarding Sha’Kyra and her three sons.
What happened to Joe White is a reminder of how powerful the human spirit can be. In a time when many have been forced to stay at home due to the pandemic, it is heartwarming to know that there are still people out there willing to help a stranger in need. Sha’Kyra Aughtry is a true hero and her selfless act of kindness will be remembered for years to come.