- Associated Press - Saturday, August 9, 2014

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - A grieving husband in Hyde County says the closure of an area hospital has pushed emergency-room care too far from reach.

Barry Gibbs’ wife, Portia, suffered chest pains on July 7, days after Vidant Pungo Hospital closed in neighboring Beaufort County. EMTs and paramedics treated Portia Gibbs but she died while waiting for a helicopter to take her to a hospital in Virginia.

Portia Gibbs’ doctor was Charles Boyette, who says there’s no way to know if she would have survived. But he says she never got that opportunity.

Vidant officials say financial problems forced them to close the hospital. They say Portia Gibbs got the same treatment she would have received at the emergency room and that she would have had to be transferred from there to another hospital.

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