Tags: storm | heroes | south | atlanta

Storm Brings Out Heroes and Good Samaritans

Image: Storm Brings Out Heroes and Good Samaritans Good samaritans push a car past a patch of ice at 10th and West Peachtree streets in Atlanta on Jan. 28.

Thursday, 30 Jan 2014 06:58 AM

By Elliot Jager

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The crippling snow storm and bitter cold that hit the Deep South Wednesday brought out the best in many people.

A brain surgeon walked over six miles in the snow to reach a Birmingham, Alabama hospital where he was desperately needed for emergency surgery, AL.Com reported.

Dr. Zenko Hrynkiw was at Brookwood Medical Center when he received an urgent request to make his way to Trinity Medical Center where he is the only neurosurgeon on staff.

Snow and icy conditions made it impossible for him to drive the gridlocked streets for more than a few blocks. Cell phone reception was spotty.

The last thing Steve Davis, the neuro-intensive care unit's nursing supervisor at Trinity, heard Hrynkiw say was, "I'm walking."

Hours later he arrived at the hospital to operate on the patient who had suffered a traumatic brain injury.

"Without the surgery, the patient would have most likely died," Davis said. "But he is doing well."

"This just speaks volumes to the dedication of the man," Davis said. "When I saw him, all I could say is, 'You are a good man.'"

On Tuesday, Vontana Atkins, who works for United Cerebral Palsy of Georgia, spent long hours boosting the morale of five disabled men she had been driving back to their group home when the storm hit.

The journey, which typically takes 40 minutes, came to an abrupt and tense halt due to weather conditions, NBC News reported. Some of her passengers did not have their medications, and all were without food and water.

Speaking by phone, Atkins described the men as tired and hungry but otherwise safe. "I've been talking to them and encouraging them that we're getting there," she said.

In Sandy Springs, Ga., meanwhile, a couple on their way to the hospital had to deliver their own baby, NBC News also reported.

Police officer Tim Sheffield assisted the father in delivering a baby girl. The mother "did about 99 percent of it, and the father did a lot," Sheffield said.

"The father started to pull. I said, 'No, don't pull,' and the baby came out; it just happened quick. It was beautiful, and it was on my birthday."

The cop described the new mom as "amazing," a "trooper," and the delivery as "100 percent natural."

Sheneka Adams did not let the snow stop her from reaching the homeless shelter in Atlanta where she regularly volunteers.

She expected the storm would bring an influx of people seeking food and shelter and she was right. Adams arrived to find some 500 people, including children, needing a meal, NBC reported.
She and her boyfriend, Jacob York, used his SUV to make two trips to a nearby supermarket where they loaded up carts with water, cold cuts, cheese, and lots of bread to bring back to the shelter.

Also outside Atlanta, a good Samaritan could be seen handing out sandwiches to stranded motorists along a highway, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported.

Further north in Chicago, where the storm also took a toll, Ed Piaskecki, a snow plow operator working for the Illinois Department of Transportation, may have saved lives when he helped apprehend a drunk driver heading in the wrong direction on a Chicago interstate, NBC News reported as well.

Piaskecki trapped the car with his plow until police arrived.

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