Prayer vigil held for those affected by E. coli outbreak - | WBTV Charlotte

Prayer vigil held for those affected by E. coli outbreak

GASTONIA, NC (WBTV) - Several dozen people turned out for a prayer vigil Saturday for those affected by the E. coli outbreak.

More than a hundred people who attended the Cleveland County fair earlier this month got sick from the bacteria. As of 2 p.m. on Friday, the count stood at 64 children and 42 adults sickened by E. coli.

At the prayer service, Jordan McNair's grandmother said the 12-year-old was off the ventilator but "not out of the woods yet."

Tracy Roberts said her 5-year-old daughter Hannah "is improving every day. She is getting stronger and stronger."

In fact, Roberts says the little girl is finally starting to get her appetite back. In a photo she shared with WBTV, Hannah is now sitting up and enjoying chicken tenders.

Roberts hasn't left the hospital in two weeks but said she knows eventually the day will come when her family is back home and healthy.

"I just know the Lord has been with us and carrying us through all this," Roberts said.

And it's that faith this community continues to call on - asking a higher power to heal all those affected.

"We are like a little family now and I think we've made friendships that will last a lifetime," Roberts said.

Roberts says she sees this time as a sign of something bigger – a chance to make changes and make a difference - "to make sure this never happens again."

Roberts says she still wants answers exactly on how this happened. Preliminary results show the outbreak came from animal exposure.

But Roberts says Hannah never petted any of the animals.

She would like to see better hand washing stations at petting zoos and signage warning about the possibility of E. coli bacteria.

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