Buffalo couple shelters body of woman who died in the cold during Christmas Eve rescue attempt

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A lone pedestrian in snow shoes makes his way across Colonial Circle as St. John’s Grace Episcopal Church rises above the blowing snow amid blizzard conditions in Buffalo, N.Y. on Saturday, Dec. 24, 2022. (Derek Gee/The Buffalo News via AP) Derek Gee/AP

Buffalo couple shelters body of woman who died in the cold during Christmas Eve rescue attempt

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A couple in Buffalo, New York, spent Christmas with an unexpected guest on their living room floor — the body of a woman whose son had tried to rescue her from the extreme blizzard conditions hours earlier, according to a story from The Buffalo News.

David Purdy and his fiancee, Cassieopia Layhee, opened their door to a stranger in a ski mask on Christmas Eve. That stranger was Antwaine Parker, and he and his step-brother were trying to save the life of Parker’s mother, Carolyn Eubanks.


With emergency services refusing to respond to calls during the blizzard, Eubanks’s life was in the hands of her son, his brother-in-law, and two perfect strangers, the news outlet reported.

Their efforts were unsuccessful, and when Parker ultimately decided he needed to head back home to be with his family during the historic blizzard, Purdy and Layhee offered to keep the body in their home until first responders arrived.

“They’re two beautiful people. They didn’t have to let me in. I had to thank Dave and Cassie, two strangers I’ve never seen in my life, never met. They allowed my mother to rest in peace on their living room floor,” Parker said.

TBN reported that Purdy “was heartbroken” he could not aid the family further.

Parker defended his decision to take action in the situation and drive from his house to his mother’s home — a drive that would typically take about 10 minutes but took around seven hours because there were so many vehicles stuck on the road.

Eubanks needed electricity to run an oxygen machine, and she had a heart condition. So, when her power went out, her son and his brother-in-law took action.

Once at Eubanks’s home, Parker and his brother-in-law tried to get Eubanks from inside her home out to the car. That’s when Eubanks took a turn for the worst.

“She’s, like, ‘I can’t go no further.’ I’m begging her, ‘Mom, just stand up.’ She fell in my arms and never spoke another word,” Parker said, according to TBN.


As for the strangers who all came together in hopes of a Christmas miracle, Purdy said he plans to keep in contact with Parker and attend the funeral of Eubanks.

“I think we did make a friend for life under the worst circumstances possible,” Purdy said.

© 2022 Washington Examiner

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