SWAN QUARTER, HYDE COUNTY -

Hyde County residents gathered to protest the closure of Vidant Pungo Hospital in Belhaven.

The group says the closure of the hospital has already cost lives and that they don't want to lose any more.

Vidant Pungo Hospital was the nearest hospital to Hyde County. It was more than 25 miles away. Now, a trip to the emergency room is twice as long, nearly an hour, to the hospital in Washington.

Barry Gibbs says he lost his wife Portia while she waited an hour to be airlifted to the hospital. He says the need for a hospital in the area is dire.

"We were the first but we won't be the last. So please, everybody lets come together because we need this hospital," said Gibbs.

A group of Hyde County residents will be traveling to Washington D.C. to join Belhaven Mayor Adam O'Neal at a rally to save the hospital in our nation's capital.