As the Buffalo area continues to dig out from, stories of survival and strangers helping each other are emerging. One woman is being called an “angel” for likely saving a 64-year-old man’s life.
Sha’Kyra Aughtry brought Joe White into her Buffalo home on Christmas Eve after hearing him screaming for help outside in the freezing conditions. She called 911, but first responders didn’t come.
Aughtry used a blow dryer to melt the ice off White’s hands, which were red and blistered, she said in a video she posted on Facebook in which she pleaded for help getting him medical attention. Good Samaritans later came to drive White and Aughtry to a hospital.
White’s sister, Yvonne White, told CBS News on Wednesday that if it weren’t for Aughtry, her brother may not have survived.
“My brother’s mental capacity is that of an 11-year-old child,” she said. “If it wasn’t for this angel, if it wasn’t for this wonderful, wonderful human being, he would’ve perished and he would’ve been another statistic in this storm.”
Yvonne said her brother is in stable condition at the hospital. “We’re just praying to God that his hands and fingers will be okay,” she said.
What Aughtry did was “amazing,” Yvonne said, adding that she and her brother now “have an extended family member.”
In another heroic story, National Guardsman Matthew Waldman helped a couple get to the hospital to deliver their fourth child after their car got snowed in.
“In my mind, I was just hoping that she was okay and I would be able to get her to the hospital for her to deliver the baby and the baby would be able to recover from the delivery safely,” Waldman told CBS News.
Other people unfortunately haven’t been as lucky. The death toll from the storm in Erie County rose to 34, with the majority of those residing in Buffalo, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said Wednesday.
As the effort to clear all the roads in Buffalo continued, the National Guard was going door-to-door to check on residents in neighborhoods that lost power, Poloncarz said.
“We are fearful that there are individuals who may have perished, living alone,” he said.