A mother of three is being hailed as a ‘true angel’ for saving the life of a developmentally disabled man who became lost in a deadly blizzard in Buffalo at Christmas.
Sha’Kyra Aughtry said she heard cries for help coming from outside her home at around 6.30am on Christmas Eve and saw Joe White, 64, caught in a snowbank and being buffeted by strong winds and heavy snowfall, Independent News reports.
Ms Aughtry said in a Facebook Live that her boyfriend Trent picked up Mr White and brought him inside.
Ms Aughtry then had to cut off Mr White’s socks as they had become frozen to his legs, and used a hairdryer to thaw his frozen pants.
The couple fed him and tried to treat his hands for frostbite, which had begun to turn gangrenous, and piled blankets on him to try to keep him warm.
With Buffalo’s streets paralysed under 50 inches (1.25m) of snow and emergency vehicles unable to reach the house for more than 24 hours, Ms Aughtry took to Facebook on Christmas Day to plead for help in getting Mr White to the hospital.
The couple used giant shearing clippers to cut a ring off his finger, which was swollen and turning black from apparent gangrene, it was reported.
White suffered terrible fourth-degree burns, and is receiving specialist treatment, Daily Mail reported.
But he would almost certainly have died had Aughtry not stepped in to help.
White’s rescue by a total stranger in the midst of the worst blizzard in Buffalo’s history went viral after Kimberly LaRussa, a blogger who writes about feel-good stories on ‘Sweet Buffalo’, posted the story and photos online.
White was in the burn unit of Erie County Medical Center, according to The Buffalo News, who spoke with his sister Yvonne White.
‘I just got off the phone with him. He seems extremely weak. His hands have fourth-degree frostbite,’ she said.
‘We’re hoping and praying this will work out for the best.’
Yvonne White received news of her brother’s rescue when she got a call from Aughtry on Christmas Eve.
‘Hi, you don’t know me but I have your brother,’ Aughtry told White’s sister on the phone.
Aughtry said she saw the man from her window during the massive storm on Saturday morning.
She sent her boyfriend Trent out to help and he came back carrying the feeble man, who they eventually learned was called ‘Joe’ and that he was 64 years old.
He couldn’t tell Aughtry his address, but remembered his sister’s number, and Aughtry called her to let her know they had found him.