One Buffalo, New York woman’s Facebook live streams helped save an elderly man’s life during the powerful and deadly snowstorm that pummeled the city over Christmas.
When Sha’Kyra Aughtry heard a man outside screaming for help as the storm raged early on Christmas Eve, she took him into her home, CNN reported. But as his condition worsened, it was her Facebook livestreams that drew helpful people to come take him to the hospital, even as conditions were too rough for an ambulance to pick him up.
Once inside, Aughtry melted ice off his red and blistered hands with a blow dryer, and used a “grass cutter” to take his rings off, she said. But the situation only seemed to get worse.
“I’m going crazy because I’m scared,” she said on a Facebook livestream. “I’m starting to see his body change too much from the time that I had him – his body has changed rapidly every hour.”
She tried calling for help, but it wasn’t coming fast. The massive snowstorm paralyzed Buffalo, with more than four feet of snow accumulating amid a days-long ban on driving in the city.
The storm also killed 37 people in Buffalo, a number that could climb as National Guard troops search homes door-to-door.
“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. “I don’t care about nothing else. This man is not about to die over here.”
But in a second livestream less than an hour later, her hopes were fulfilled. After seeing her first livestream, a group of men had come to transport the man, named Joe White, to the hospital.
“I’m in the car with him and some nice Samaritans that came and snowplowed us out,” she said during the livestream. Comforting White, she added, “You’re doing an excellent job, Joe. You’ve just got to breathe, right?”
Now, White is recovering from fourth-degree frostbite in an intensive care unit, his sister, Yvonne White, told CNN. She said her brother is developmentally disabled and lives in a group home.
White is the longest-serving employee of the Buffalo’s North Park Theater, having worked there since 1980. His boss, Ray Barker, said the theater is Joe White’s “whole life.”
“We’ve been worried sick about Joe,” Barker 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.”