“He was like frozen,” she said. “His pants were frozen, his shoes were frozen.”

Earlier this winter, a deadly blizzard descended upon Buffalo, New York. The storm cast a shadow over Christmas, endangering many and even taking the lives of 37.

On Christmas Eve, one Buffalo resident’s generosity might have saved a life, however.

We Can All Be Heroes When We Need to Be

Sha’Kyra Aughtry heard screams for help outside her home, and opened her door to find a man outside, clearly in distress. Despite the hesitation many might have about letting a stranger in their home, Aughtry did not hesitate, and welcomed the man inside as soon as she saw the state he was in. “I told my boyfriend, I’m like, ‘Hey, there is a guy outside. We gotta bring him in,'” she recalled.

She told NBC affiliate WGRZ, “The winds — just sweeping him away. I seen his body, and then I didn’t see his body. And I just could tell he was stumbling, he was falling.”

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According to Aughtry, the man, who she later learned is named Joey, had ice clinging to his hands, and a bag frozen to him she had to cut away. Cleverly, she also removed a ring from his finger to prevent the loss of circulation. “He was like frozen,” she said. “His pants were frozen, his shoes were frozen.”

Despite her best efforts, however, Aughtry was unfamiliar with treating frostbite, and had to call a family member who is a nurse for help. Due to the blizzard, calls to emergency services were futile, as help could not arrive.

Joey spent two days with Aughtry, until she posted a video on Facebook, in which she pleaded with her network. “I’ve called everybody,” she said in the video. “I’m asking for help from whomever. This man needs serious help.” 

Hope Keeps Us Alive in Dire Moments

The decision proved to be an effective one, as she received a response that made all the difference. Former NFL player and Buffalo native Doug Worthington and another man responded to Aughtry’s message, and made their way to her home to transport Joey to Erie County Medical Center. During their time together, however, Aughtry was instrumental in helping Joey maintain hope.

She recalls a particularly poignant moment to WGRZ: “He said to me in the car, and it really touched me, he said to me, he said, ‘I’m scared. “I said, ‘I’m scared, too,’ and he said, ‘Am I gonna die?’ I said, ‘We’re not talking about dying.’ … (He) looked at me and said, ‘I love you,’ and I said, ‘I love you, too, Joey.’”

She went on to say that the former stranger “will forever be a part” of her family.

The local North Park Theater, where Joey works, even honored Aughtry and her boyfriend by putting their names up in lights. When Aughtry first heard Joey, he was actually on his way to the Theater for work. The marquee in front of North Park Theatre now reads, “Thank you Sha’Kyra and Trent,” alongside “Get well soon, Joe.”


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