Mentally disabled Buffalo man rescued from historic blizzard has lost all his fingers to frostbite

Mentally disabled Buffalo man, 64, rescued from historic blizzard by Good Samaritan has lost all his fingers and KNUCKLES – as well as one of his thumbs – to fourth-degree frostbite after getting stuck outside in snow

  • Joey White, 64, of Buffalo, suffered fourth-degree frostbite to his fingers  
  • The theater worker was found outside during the blizzard on Christmas Eve
  • Sha’Kyra Aughtry took care of White at her home and got him to the hospital 
  • For two weeks, he underwent many surgeries, but his fingers could not be saved
  • GoFundMe pages for White and Aughtry have raised more than $100,000 each

A Buffalo man who was rescued by a Good Samaritan during a historic blizzard at Christmas has lost all of his fingers from frostbite. 

For more than two weeks, 64-year-old Joey White underwent multiple surgeries for the severe frostbite that ravaged his hands. But his fingers could not be saved. 

His sister Yvonne White and Sha’Kyra Aughtry, the woman who saved him, shared the heartbreaking update this week. Surgeons removed all of White’s fingers and knuckles, except for half a thumb. 

White, who has a development disability, suffered the fourth-degree frostbite that blistered his hands and turned his fingers black, when he got lost in a winter storm that slammed Buffalo last month. 

Aughtry heard White’s cries on Christmas Eve and brought him inside where she tended to his wounds, fed him and kept him company until they were able to get him to the hospital late on Christmas Day. 

Joey White, 64, who was rescued by Sha'Kyra Aughtry on Christmas Eve during a historic blizzard in Buffalo, has lost all his fingers and knuckles, except for half a thumb, from frostbite

Joey White, 64, who was rescued by Sha’Kyra Aughtry on Christmas Eve during a historic blizzard in Buffalo, has lost all his fingers and knuckles, except for half a thumb, from frostbite

A mother of three is being called a 'true angel' in Buffalo after she saved the life of a mentally-disabled man who got caught in last week's historic blizzard that has killed at least 70 people

A mother of three is being called a ‘true angel’ in Buffalo after she saved the life of a mentally-disabled man who got caught in last week’s historic blizzard that has killed at least 70 people 

White’s rescue went viral and Aughtry was hailed a hero for helping a stranger in need as Go Fund Me pages for both White and Aughtry raised $100,000 each.

Thousands of get well cards were sent to White, who worked at North Park Theatre, a job he’s held for decades his sister said. She also said that his face and name were featured on the Jumbotron during last Sunday’s Buffalo Bills game. 

But Yvonne told The Buffalo News that this week’s development about her brother is devastating.

‘Yvonne, where are my fingers?’ he had asked her, she said.

Yvonne said she couldn’t help but cry when she heard her brother say those words. She added that she hopes he will eventually be able to use some kind of prosthetic device and that she has sought advice from experts on how to discuss it with him.

‘They said you can tell him “Yes, you lost your fingers. But now you’re going to get special fingers,”‘ Yvonne said. ‘This is going to be hard for him.’ 

Yvonne said she is beyond grateful for the support her brother has received and for 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. 

White's sister Yvonne said she is beyond grateful for the support her brother has received and for Aughtry, who brought him out of the cold and into her home on Thatcher Avenue

White’s sister Yvonne said she is beyond grateful for the support her brother has received and for Aughtry, who brought him out of the cold and into her home on Thatcher Avenue

Aughtry and her boyfriend Trent found Joey 'Joe' White, a 64-year-old mentally-disabled, local movie theater worker outside in a snow bank and suffering from severe frostbite

Aughtry and her boyfriend Trent found Joey ‘Joe’ White, a 64-year-old mentally-disabled, local movie theater worker outside in a snow bank and suffering from severe frostbite

White was covered in snow and 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'

White was covered in snow and 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’

White, who has a development disability, suffered the fourth-degree frostbite that blistered his hands and turned his fingers black, when he got lost in a winter storm that slammed Buffalo

White, who has a development disability, suffered the fourth-degree frostbite that blistered his hands and turned his fingers black, when he got lost in a winter storm that slammed Buffalo

Just a few weeks ago, on Christmas Eve, Aughtry heard White’s cries for help and saw him from her window during the massive storm. 

She convinced her boyfriend Trent to check on the man and he returned carrying White in his arms. 

White was half-frozen outside their home with ‘Ice balls was on his hands. He was like frozen, his pants were frozen, his shoes were frozen.’

He was covered in snow and 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.’

The couple used giant shearing clippers to cut a ring off his finger, which was swollen and turning black from apparent gangrene, it was reported. 

Aughtry made multiple calls to 911 but the storm had shuttered the town. So, on the night of December 25, she turned to Facebook for help. 

Eventually, some people from the community were able to use their truck to get White to Erie County Medical Center.

Joe was completed covered in ice and was 'so frozen' that Sha'Kyra and Trent had to 'cut his socks off and use a hairdryer' to attempt to warm his pants, which were stuck to his legs,

Aughtry and her family took care of Joe White throughout Christmas Eve and into Christmas Day, feeding him pancakes and Pepsi, as he stayed warm on their couch

White's frostbite was so severe that his hands were swollen and the couple had to use giant shearing clippers to cut a ring off his finger, which was turning black from apparent gangrene

White’s frostbite was so severe that his hands were swollen and the couple had to use giant shearing clippers to cut a ring off his finger, which was turning black from apparent gangrene

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

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

White couldn’t tell Aughtry his address, but remembered his sister’s number, and Aughtry called her to let her know they had found him. 

His sister later said that White is developmentally disabled and has the mental capacity of an 11-year-old child, The Buffalo News reported. 

‘He can read, somewhat. He’s very sociable,’ Yvonne White said. ‘He likes talking to people, likes meeting people, very outgoing.’ 

Yvonne told the outlet that her brother lives in a group home on Parkridge Avenue, just a few blocks from Aughtry, and works at the North Park Theatre. 

She said she believes he went to work – a job he’s had since he was 17 – out of habit, and then tried to walk home in the storm. 

White, who works at the North Park Theatre, is believed to have gone to work - a job he's had since he was 17 - out of habit, and then tried to walk home in the storm. His name appeared on the marquee Tuesday as the community sent out well wishes for his recovery

White, who works at the North Park Theatre, is believed to have gone to work – a job he’s had since he was 17 – out of habit, and then tried to walk home in the storm. His name appeared on the marquee Tuesday as the community sent out well wishes for his recovery

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 hospital.

‘I’ve had this man since 6:37 yesterday morning. Nobody has been here to help this man,’ she said. 

‘This is what his hands is looking like. We’ve got to get some help. He has gangrene on his hands… He’s going to lose his fingers. I don’t know what to do. Y’all need to share this… Nobody has been here. I called the National Guard. I have called 911. I’ve called everybody and they keep telling me, I’m on the list. I don’t want to be on the list.’ 

Aughtry rode with White to the hospital telling him: ‘Look at me, Joe. Don’t cry. Don’t cry… We’re friends for life now.’

With the help of others, they were able to plow their driveway and take White to the hospital. Aughtry told him: 'Look at me, Joe. Don't cry. Don't cry... We're friends for life now'

With the help of others, they were able to plow their driveway and take White to the hospital. Aughtry told him: ‘Look at me, Joe. Don’t cry. Don’t cry… We’re friends for life now’

Yvonne White said she couldn't be more grateful to Aughtry for taking care of her brother

Yvonne White said she couldn’t be more grateful to Aughtry for taking care of her brother

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