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Shelby County Hospital

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CENTER, Tx. -

It's been just over a month since Shelby Regional Hospital in Center, Texas closed its doors. And since then there's been two fatal medical emergencies involving children. Judith Contreres is devastated at the death of her 18-month old daughter Edith Gonzalas. Monday night Edith was eating grapes when she began to choke. Then the family rushed her not more than 3 miles to Shelby Regional only to discover the hospital was closed. That news left Judith speechless. "She sad because there wasn't a doctor or any medical facility that could have helped her daughter," said Contreres. While looking for help they ended up at a nearby CVS store where two law enforcement agents begin to try and save the child's life. An ambulance arrived later and immediately remove the grape and then transported the child to the closest hospital in San Augustine, which is twenty-two minutes away. When they got there the hospital staff was unable to revive her. Sheriff Willis Blackwell says the loss of the hospital is even putting a strain on his already small 8-man department. "Since we don't have a hospital or a care center at this time it's putting to where the city has to do more as far as the emergency situation, when we have all that happening at one time this is a big county," said Sheriff Blackwell. Little Edith's mom doesn't want her daughter's death to be in vain. "It was this family now, it could be your family here or anybody else's family here in this isolated community," said Contreres. San Augustine was the nearest facility that could have provided care for little Edith at 22 minutes away, with Carthage being 31 minutes away, Nacogdoches 41 minutes and across the border in Louisiana, Mansfield is almost an hour away. Little Edith was laid to rest yesterday.
 

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