Joey White: Buffalo man, 64, rescued from blizzard by good Samaritan loses his fingers to frostbite
As per the Daily Mail, Joey White, 64, suffered fourth-degree frostbite which left his hands with blisters and turned his fingers black when became stranded during a winter storm that rocked the town in December 2022. He was eventually rescued by Sha'Kyra Aughtry, who brought him inside her house, where she tended to his wounds, fed him, and kept him company until they took him to the local hospital.
For more than two weeks, White underwent a number of surgeries for the severe frostbite but his finger could not be saved. His sister, Yvonne, revealed earlier this week that the surgeons has amputated all of his fingers and knuckles, except for half a thumb. She told The Buffalo News that this week’s surgery was heart-wrenching for the family. "Yvonne, where are my fingers?" he had asked her, she said. When she heard her brother repeat such things, Yvonne claimed she was unable to hold back her tears.
TRUE ANGEL IN BUFFALO 💯 A THREAD: A local woman received a call on Christmas Eve, “Hi, you don't know me but I have your brother.” The woman’s brother’s name is Joey. He is 64 years old and mentally disabled. pic.twitter.com/iAVQTsf2xH— Kimberly LaRussa (@KimberlyLaRussa) December 26, 2022
Yvonne said that she hoped Joey will eventually be able to use prosthetic devices and that she had also consulted professionals for advice on how to approach the subject with him. "They said you can tell him, 'Yes, you lost your fingers. But now you're going to get special fingers.' This is going to be hard for him," Yvonne reportedly said. She later also thanked the community for showing support to her brother and Aughtry, who brought him out of the cold and into her home on Thatcher Avenue. "The outpouring of love in this community – you'll never find that in any other city. I'm convinced of that," Yvonne said.
Joey works at The North Park Theater so his sister believes he went there Thursday, got scared and stayed over, and then decided to walk back to his home. A woman named Sha'Kyra Aughtry heard someone crying and asking for help. pic.twitter.com/CSfS2Smc6S— Kimberly LaRussa (@KimberlyLaRussa) December 26, 2022
Aughtry was reportedly enjoying her Christmas Eve when she heard White cry and saw him from her window, during the blizzard. She asked her boyfriend to check on the man and he returned carrying White in his arms. The sexagenarian was half-frozen outside their home with "ice balls on his hands." The couple first tended to his wounds, and then they fed him and gave him space to sleep. They kept him inside their house until community members were able to use their truck to take White to the Erie County Medical Center.
Her boyfriend Trent went outside to look and found Joey and carried him out of the snow bank and into their home. Joey was so frozen they had to cut his socks off, use a hairdryer to dry his pants that were frozen to his legs, and cut the straps of a Wegmans bag from his hands. pic.twitter.com/lfzClEKQPq— Kimberly LaRussa (@KimberlyLaRussa) December 26, 2022
This is such a heartfelt story, it's almost unbelievable. Had it not been for Sha'Kyra, Joey would have died. The frostbite on Joey’s hands looked like it was turning gangrene. Helpless, Sha'Kyra posted a plea on Facebook for emergency help. pic.twitter.com/jHLwwEDlK3— Kimberly LaRussa (@KimberlyLaRussa) December 26, 2022
Aughtry posted a plea on Facebook for help and with the assistance of neighbors and kind strangers, their driveway was plowed and they were able to get White to the hospital. "I've had this man since 6:37 yesterday morning. Nobody has been here to help this man. This is what his hands are looking like. We've got to get some help. He has gangrene on his hands... He's going to lose his fingers," she had posted at that time.