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KARM steps in to save elderly man's life from the cold

Shelters see an increase in men and women spending the night and coming for meals due to the extreme weather.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The Knox Area Rescue Ministries opened their arms even wider this Christmas season by saving an elderly man from the cold. 

It was around 5:30 a.m. when KARM's Director of Outreach Mychal Spence noticed the man across the warming tent on Broadway. 

"The elderly man was laying on the sidewalk. He didn't have any clothing on from his waist down," Spence said. 

The man was struggling to survive the low temperature.

"He was in distress with the cold. Being exposed to the cols, his hands were terribly frostbitten," he said. 

Spence mentioned that they grabbed blankets, pulled him out from the cold and called 911. 

"He would have another 10 minutes... he would [have] probably been dead."

UTK Chancellor Professor Joshua Fu, an expert on climate change, energy and human health said low temperatures can cause severe health issues and may send you to the hospital.  

"Keep warm to avoid cerebral hemorrhage and stroke and heart attack due to the extreme cold weather," Fu said. 

KARM said they are trying to help as many people as possible. 

"Our doors are open, our doors aren't going to close when we reach a certain number. We do everything we can to accommodate every single person who needs safe shelter from the streets," Danita McCartney, president and CEO of KARM. 

For the people who are struggling, Spence wants everyone to know, "It's your brother, it's your sister and I find a lot of people that are hurting and all they want is to be loved and listened to."

If you would like to make a donation, you can visit www.karm.org/donate

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