At a time of year when the world turns to a story from the Bible, modern heroes emerge in the spirit of the Gospel of Luke’s Good Samaritan.
On Friday amid a brutal blizzard, 35-year-old Buffalo resident Sha’Kyra Aughtry heard a faint knock at her door. On the other side rang feeble cries for help.
She and her boyfriend, Trent, discovered 64-year-old Joey White, a local movie theater employee. The mentally disabled man was in agony and suffering from severe frostbite.
Trent pulled him out of the snowbank and carried him inside.
As relayed by blogger Kimberly LaRussa, who chronicled the story and posted photos, the couple provided life-altering care:
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.
Sha’Kyra, a mother of three children, fed Joey, cleaned him, washed his clothes, gave him warm blankets and did everything she could to make him comfortable until she could find help.
And he badly needed help — his hands appeared to have developed gangrene.
Sha’Kyra was able to get Joey’s sister’s phone number. “Hi, you don’t know me, but I have your brother.”
[H]is sister believes he went [to the movie theater] Thursday, got scared and stayed over, and then decided to walk back to his home.
Joey was able to communicate with family via Facetime — “which he was fascinated by” — while being tended to by his Good Samaritans. Then Sha’Kyra went on Facebook and requested help. Strangers showed up, plowed the snow outside her door, and lifted Joey in a blanket to their truck to take him to the ER. Sha’Kyra rode along.
As they arrived to the hospital, she reassured him:
“No one is going to hurt you, honey.”
Joey’s sister says Sha’Kyra saved his life.
And it was particularly personal to Sha’Kyra because of her brother: Per the New York Post, the situation took her back to February 2019, when 30-year-old Darryal Aughtry crawled to her doorstep after having been shot nearby.
Sha’Kyra immediately thought of Darryal and how she similarly found him…after he faintly knocked before succumbing to gunshot injuries…
Sha’Kyra’s 32-year-old sister, Angela, explained to The Post:
“She was like, ‘You know, that’s like the equivalent to our brother passing away’ — she can’t have that happen again. … [She] said everything got replayed. … [S]he heard [Joey] crying outside the door, and she couldn’t leave him out there because the same thing happened to our brother. … She said if Joey was left out there any longer, he could have [frozen] to death.”
Friday night, Sha’Kyra’s children cried and asked, “Is [Joey] gonna die like Uncle Darryal?” She assured them — not on her watch.
Angele considers her sister a hero — “Her heart is so big.”
So big that it rescued a man in great need. As of Monday, according to Kimberly LaRuss:
Joey had fourth degree frostbite. He is currently in the burn unit at ECMC.
We so desperately need more stories like this — not just in the news, but out in the world. America has become destructively divided — we’re no longer fighting for ideas; we’re fighting one another. We’ve become a culture of clans opposed, whether by politics, social views, or religion. But a story at Christmas — which calls to a religion hailing love as the greatest of all things — reminds us what a beautiful world we create when we come together.
Thank goodness a kind woman and others in New York practiced that kind of love.
For those moved by this story: Fundraiser by Chris Dearing : Bless Sha'Kyra Rain Aughtry for Saving Joe's Life https://t.co/eVKbygq0jv
— Patricia Heaton (@PatriciaHeaton) December 27, 2022
Maybe Kimberly said it best — this winter, Sha’Kyra is a “true angel.” Or, perhaps, a snow angel.
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