The struggling Pauls Valley Regional Medical Center held a cookout Sunday, with hundreds of community members donating money.
People came from all over for brisket and bites.
Most of them had stories like Zora Sampson's. She's a lifetime patient and visitor.
“You need a hospital here, and the emergency room,” Sampson said.
Hospital CEO Frank Avignone estimates $10,000 was raised Sunday alone.
“That will go toward the employees. Everything right now that we bring in from donations through the hospital foundation goes directly to any of the liabilities that we have for employees,” Frank Avignone said.
Employees have had to work without pay recently to keep the hospital from shutting down.
Mismanagement before Avignone's company took over left the hospital in financial trouble.
Now they need millions in donations to get out of it.
Fundraisers like this one, organized by employee Michelle Simmon, are aimed at keeping the hospital open long enough to grow and expand again.
“I've had a few issues where I've had to come here. It's just worth it because we're so close to everybody around us and we really need this facility to stay open,” Simmons said.
Avignone says he believes the facility won't only stay open, but thrive.
“I would say that when you and I talk again after the first of the year, we're going to be in a completely different place with this hospital,” Avignone said.
Donations can also be made by phone or and at the GoFundMe page.