Woman takes stranger in, saves his life during blizzard

Dozens have died in the historic winter storm. (CNN, Spectrum News Buffalo, New York State Police, NYSDOT Western NY, Erie County, City of Hamburg)
Published: Dec. 27, 2022 at 11:20 PM PST|Updated: Dec. 27, 2022 at 11:22 PM PST
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BUFFALO, N.Y. (CNN) - A New York woman found a man with frostbite outside her house during Christmas weekend’s deadly blizzard, and she stopped at nothing to make sure he got the help he needed.

Sha’Kyra Aughtry heard a 64-year-old man screaming for help the morning of Christmas Eve in the frigid cold outside her home in Buffalo, New York. The man, identified as Joey White, was in terrible pain, suffering from frostbite to his hands.

Aughtry’s boyfriend carried Joey White inside their home, where Aughtry did her best to take care of him, comfort him and feed him.

Sha’Kyra Aughtry cared for 64-year-old Joey White after she found him outside her home during...
Sha’Kyra Aughtry cared for 64-year-old Joey White after she found him outside her home during Christmas weekend's deadly blizzard. He was in terrible pain, suffering from frostbite to his hands.(Source: CNN, Spectrum News Buffalo)

Joey White’s sister, Yvonne White, says her brother is mentally challenged and lives in a group home. He works at a movie theater and may have gotten scared during the blizzard, ending up lost in the heavy snow as he tried to walk home.

As Aughtry cared for Joey White, she pleaded for help with phone calls and videos on Facebook Live. He remained in pain and even believed he might die.

But her neighborhood was virtually impassable, and Christmas Eve soon became Christmas Day.

“This man is not about to die over here on 111. Y’all need to get this man some help,” said Aughtry in video footage. “He needs to go because he needs medical attention. … He had a ring on his finger. I had to use these to cut the ring off his finger. I’m not no surgeon.”

GRAPHIC WARNING: The videos in this story may contain disturbing content.

Finally, good Samaritans showed up in a vehicle that could make it through the snow, and Joey White was on his way to the hospital, with Aughtry by his side.

“This man could have died, 64 years old, could have died outside. I wasn’t letting that happen on my watch, and he wasn’t going to die in front of my kids,” Aughtry said.

As his severe frostbite is being treated, Joey White is in intensive care in the hospital’s burn unit. His sister says it’s touch and go as to whether his hands can be saved. But overall, he is in stable condition, and Yvonne White is extremely grateful to Aughtry for helping him.

“This woman did something an angel would do. OK, to take in a perfect stranger. You took him in your home on Christmas Eve,” Yvonne White said.

Ultimately, Aughtry’s care for a man she had never met may have saved his life. More than 30 people are reported to have died in the region during the storm.