SWAN QUARTER, N.C. -
It's now been 3 weeks since Vidant Pungo Hospital shut its doors.
Tuesday, nearly a hundred folks came together in Hyde County to show their support of how desperate they are to open those doors back up.
As the weeks go by, those living in Hyde and eastern Beaufort counties are growing more restless as the hospital they say they need remains closed.
An emotional meeting Tuesday morning sent a clear message that Vidant Pungo is desperately needed in the area for all people and all ages.
Among those there was Mickey Lee Hammel, a member of the newly formed "Healthy Communities United."
"We're not a Democratic group, we're not a Republican group,” said Hammel. “We're not a black group, we're not a white group. We're not a rich group, we got some poor folks in the group. The point of being is that we all are in kind of the same mixing pot here to what has happened to us."
Hammel says the purpose of the group is to work together to spend less money on health care and make the community as a whole healthier.
The closure of the hospital has also put a strain on EMS crews.
"It's putting a fatigue level on our personnel as well as an extra financial burden to the county to have to go the extra mileage to either the Outer Banks or Beaufort County," said Lindsey Mooney, the Fairfield fire chief.
Janet Ebrun's 24-year-old son was suffering from cardiac arrest, but no paramedics were close by. She says luckily an off-duty paramedic stepped in to help.
"It's just by the grace of god that this parademic was there and not in route to Washington," Ebrun said.
For others, like Jackie Harris who suffers from diabetes, the 24/7 clinic Vidant is staffing in Belhaven isn't enough to meet medical needs.
"It just takes longer for us to get in to see the doctor now because more people are needing to be seen at the office rather than the hospital," Harris said.
While Belhaven Mayor Adam O'Neal continues his walk to Washington, D.C., Hyde County NAACP President Michael Adams says other representatives need to step up and do more.
"We find this issue so difficult, so appalling, to stand up and fight for the people of Beaufort and Hyde County," Adams said.
We reached out to Vidant, but haven't heard back.
To get involved in the fight to get the hospital back, click here.