as Powerful storm As Western New York was hit with blinding blizzard conditions early Christmas Eve, a Buffalo woman sprang into action when she spotted a man caught in the storm.
Shakira Actri said she was at home when she heard someone screaming down her street. When she looked out the window, she saw a man calling for help in the freezing cold.
Actry’s boyfriend took Joe White, 64, into the house and used a blow dryer to melt the ice from her red and blistered hands and a “grass cutter” to take off her rings, she said. A Facebook Livestream.
When the Buffalo woman tried to call emergency responders for help, no one came, she said. And with no background in medical care, Actry said she was concerned for his safety.
She took to Facebook to share what happened and to plead for help.
“I’m going crazy because I’m scared,” he said on the livestream. “From the time I had him I started to see his body change a lot – every hour his body changed faster.”
Emergency responders were unable to respond to calls for hours over the weekend as the storm buried Buffalo in deep snow — even with ambulances and rescue crews stuck in the snow, Erie County officials said in news conferences.
At the very least 31 weather-related deaths Confirmed in New York’s Erie County, where an EMS was responsible for the delay, County Executive Mark Bolancarz says.
Actry said she feared for White’s life because no one came to help.
“I called the National Guard. I called 911. I called everybody — they keep telling me I’m on a list. I don’t want to be on a list,” Actery said on his livestream. “I don’t care about anything else. This man is not going to die here.”
She heard cries for help during a deadly winter storm. Her actions saved a life
Eventually, she said, her requests were answered.
Actry posted another of his Facebook Livestreams and a group of men taking White to the hospital on Christmas night. “I’m in the car with him and some good Samaritans come and pull us out,” he said.
According to Actry, one of the men said he saw her first Facebook livestream and came to help.
Livestream Actery reassures White in the back of the car on the way to the hospital.
“You’re doing a great job, Joe,” she said. “You have to breathe, don’t you?”
White is now recovering in the ICU with fourth-degree frostbite after arriving at the hospital Sunday night, his sister Yvonne White told CNN.
“I hope and pray for the best,” he said.
Yvonne White said it was a “miracle” that her older brother, who is developmentally disabled and lives in a group home, remembered her phone number when Actry picked him up.
White’s boss, Ray Barker, said White became disoriented after leaving his team home during a Christmas Eve morning snowstorm.
Barker said White probably thought he had to go to work even though he had the day off.
“He was a mess,” Barker told CNN. “And (Audrey) clearly saved his life.”
White’s sister is also grateful to Actry, who says she now feels like family.
“We all tried to help each other and it was wonderful,” he told CNN. “Now I feel like I have a sister and three nephews,” she says, referring to Actry and her sons.
Barker is the program director at North Park Theatre, where White works, and has known him for more than 30 years. Having worked at the theater since 1980, White is the longest serving employee.
“Theater was really his whole life,” Barker told CNN.
“We were worried about Joe,” Barker said. “We know he is currently receiving good medical treatment and we can’t wait for him to return to theatre.”
The theater began fundraising for Actery and For White, which together raised more than $50,000, and the theater honored Actery and her boyfriend, Trent, with a message on its marquee.
“Thank you Shakira and Trent. Get well soon, Joe,” it said.