WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Protesters asking New Hanover County Commissioners to “Have a Heart, Save Our Hospital.”
Organizers want to use Valentine’s Day to create more awareness about the possible sale of New Hanover Regional Medical Center.
“There is one thing that your money or your power cannot control or purchase–and that is your health,” activist Angie Kahney said.
Dr. Kyle Horton led the rally. She says the county shouldn’t make any decisions until January, when the new commissioners are sworn in. So that voters’ voices can be heard.
“I’m really concerned that they haven’t brought the doctors, the nurses, the patients, and all of our voices in the community into this process,” Dr. Horton said.
A voice like Philip White’s.
“If I had gone to another hospital for my back surgery and not New Hanover Regional, I have little to no doubt that I would be suffering from partial if not complete paralysis,” White said.
Before moving to Wilmington, White broke his wrist. He visited a ‘not for profit’ hospital.
At the time, he did not have insurance to cover surgery that doctor’s said he needed.
“There was absolutely nothing they could do for me. Being uninsured, good luck,” he said.
White said he ended up removing his own cast, leaving him with a deformed wrist and a lifetime of pain.
Later when he needed back surgery, he visited NHRMC. He still did not have health coverage.
“I got the surgery that I needed,” he said. “And then I was able, once I recovered, to work out a payment plan to pay back the debt that I owed.”
His message now:
“If our three county commissioners decide to sell our hospital there will be a lot of people who will have similar experiences to mine,” White said. “My only fear? They won’t be something as simple as a wrist.”
There is a petition on Dr. Horton’s website to delay the sale process and it currently has 182 signatures.
WWAY reached out to a county spokesperson and they said they did not have a comment at this time.