Doctors optimistic E. coli victim could return home Monday

by: Jeff Smith Updated:

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GASTONIA, N.C. - A five-year-old girl hospitalized with the E. coli bacteria had her final surgery just hours ago, as doctors stitched up her chest where her dialysis tube was inserted.

And after two weeks in the hospital, Hannah Roberts' parents said she could be released Monday.

Tracy and Mike Roberts were ordered by doctors to go home and prepare their house for Hannah Roberts -- who is still a sick girl with a weak immune system.

"They said we really needed to make sure our house was completely clean with Clorox on hard surfaces, Lysol on all soft surfaces," Tracy Roberts said. "We tried to get some cleaning people, couldn't get a hold of them. But we thought, who better to clean the house than the two people who love her the most?"

Hannah Roberts' recovery over the last four days has been remarkable. She came close to losing her life after contracting E. coli after visiting the Cleveland County Fair.

Hannah Roberts is one of 106 people who contracted E. coli after visiting the fair. The deadly outbreak has spread to nine counties in our area.

Sunday afternoon, Tracy and Mike Roberts sprayed, scrubbed, and wiped down every inch of their Gastonia home -- paying close attention to wiping down the toys and books in Hannah Roberts' bedroom.

"We can make sure that every nook and cranny is covered and clean," Tracy Roberts said.

Doctors first said Hannah Roberts could be hospitalized for six weeks. She'll go home after two.

"It has been a roller coaster of emotions, but hopefully we're coming back up to the high," she said.

Hannah Robert's been off dialysis for four days. Nurses gave her a bath at the hospital Friday afternoon. And on Sunday, tubes were removed from her chest and doctors stitched her up.

Hannah Roberts got a bath at the hospital Saturday, and Sunday, tubes were removed and stitches put in place. But now Hannah Roberts is not ready to leave.

"I told her, 'Hannah, you're going to be going home, baby,'" Mike Roberts said. "And she said, "Well, I really like it up here."

Mike Roberts said he can't thank the doctors and nurses at Levine Children's Hospital enough for helping his daughter recover. But he said he'll change her mind about leaving with a home-cooked meal -- and a particularly clean bedroom.