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Protesters fight for therapeutic pool in Brownwood

By Shenna Stout, sstout@ktxs.com
Published On: Apr 10 2013 06:23:32 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 11 2013 08:55:21 AM CDT
BROWNWOOD, Texas -

Protesters chanting “Save our pool!’ gathered Wednesday to express displeasure about the pending closure of Brownwood Regional Hospital’s Rehab and Fitness Zone therapeutic swimming pool.

For some, the pool is their only source of exercise, and many refer to the pool as their lifeline.

The protest occurred Wednesday at Memorial Park across from Brownwood Regional Hospital.

"I'm very disappointed, my family was very disappointed," Leona Jergen said.

"I wish they wouldn't close it because there's not too many places here you can do it," Eva Gay said.

The Rehab and Fitness Zone pool is set to close permanently on Monday.

The Rehab and Fitness Zone is relocating for an upgrade in technology, but there won't be a pool in the new location. The Ranger College nursing program is moving into the Rehab and Fitness Zone building, but the pool is scheduled to close.

For many, the pool has kept them healthy and provided exercise in a pain free way.

"I'm a competitive tennis player, and I have major arthritis issues with my knees, so I get my good cardio in the pool," Sammie Courington said.

"I came to the pool six or seven years ago for back problems, and I would say it's 85 percent to 90 percent better," Gay said.

For Jergen, she has the strength to play with her two-year-old grandson because of the pool.

"My thrill was to be able to play with him, kind of run with him a little, but, you know, all because of this pool I'm able to do that," Jergen said.

Inez Lack, 90, enjoys playing volleyball in the pool.

"I'm hoping someone will take pity on us and do something," Lack said.

"We're hoping to attract somebody, attract attention, to people who can have the resources to help us keep this pool open,"  Courington said.