Crittenden Regional Hospital closes ER

ER closure causes longer transport times for ambulances in West Memphis
Crittenden Regional Hospital suddenly closed its emergency room Wednesday night days after announcing the hospital would shut down completely in September. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)
Crittenden Regional Hospital suddenly closed its emergency room Wednesday night days after announcing the hospital would shut down completely in September. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)
A local church gathered in the parking lot to pray for a miracle. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)
A local church gathered in the parking lot to pray for a miracle. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)

(WMC) - Crittenden Regional Hospital suddenly closed its emergency room Wednesday night days after announcing the hospital would shut down completely in September. A local church gathered in the parking lot to pray for a miracle.

"Hear our prayer, oh, Lord ... Listen to my cry for mercy," Missouri Street Church of Christ Minister Mike Seal said.

Several dozen members joined hands in prayer.

"Thank you for the blessings, this hospital has been for so many years here,"  one church member said.

"It's just meant so much to this community for over 60 years, God," another said.

They would like the hospital to remain open whether through divine intervention or a potential buyer.

"We prayed for our hospital all through the summer and supported the tax that was going to help the hospital," Seal said.

"So we were very saddened on Monday when the news came out that the hospital was going to be closing," he added.

Economic issues and the recovery from a recent fire put the hospital on life support before administrators made the decision to finally pull the plug.

"I knew things were going to be tough, but I really anticipated we were going to pull out of this," longtime employee Elizabeth Kennedy said.

Kennedy was among those who attended a job fair hours before the prayer vigil.

"It was a little overwhelming for all of us ... But we're eternally grateful, and I think, I think it'll be positive for many of us," Kennedy said.

Church members prayed patients would have a painless transition as well.

"Please comfort them, please bless them with healing," one member said.

WMC Action News 5 checked with a number of Memphis hospitals concerning the closing of Crittenden Regional. Those who responded said they were ready for any potential influx of patients.

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