Family of 12-year-old boy with E. coli speaks out

Updated:

Loading
CLEVELAND COUNTY, N.C. —

The health department said it plans to study soil at the Cleveland County Fair to figure out whether it is the source of three possible cases of E. coli.

One of the sick children is a 12-year-old boy from Gaston County.

Jordan McNair's grandmother, Bennie McClannon, cried at times when she spoke with Channel 9 Wednesday.

"I'm so scared," she said. "I'm so scared that we might lose him."

McClannon often stopped talking to wipe tears from her eyes.

"His body is fighting two horrible bacteria," she said.

McClannon said doctors are trying to get rid of the E. coli and Shigella in his system.

She said the boy is in stable condition, which means he has not gotten any worse since Tuesday, but has not gotten any better either.

She said doctors have him in a drug-induced coma at Levine Children's Hospital.

Doctors don't think he could handle the pain from the infection if he were awake.

"We are getting a lot of phone calls ... people checking on him. This apartment was full of people last night trying to comfort me," McClannon said.

He has been on antibiotics for three or four days.

McClannon and McNair's parents believe he contracted the virus from something he ate at the Cleveland County Fair last Sunday.

"It was a good day," McClannon said. "It was a beautiful day."

She said the family went together and McNair ate two corn dogs. The parents ate hamburgers and McClannon said she was going to eat a hot dog, but it had too much ketchup on it.

The family stayed until 8 p.m. McNair milked a cow and rode two rides. The next day he was a little sick, but well enough to go to school. The same thing happened Tuesday.

McNair went to school on Wednesday, but McClannon said "they had to call his daddy to come get him."

The family learned he had more than a stomachache. McClannon said her grandson may never really explained how much pain he was in.

"It's hard to know what he's thinking because he's so quiet," she said.

Two other children got sick with symptoms of E. coli after eating at the fair. Their illnesses were not severe.

The boy will need dialysis once he gets better since the infection has gotten into his kidneys. Doctors are not sure how long it will take to flush the infections out of his system.

South Carolina's state fair opened its gates for a 12-day run starting Wednesday.

North Carolina's fair is set to open this weekend.

N.C. health officials implemented several changes to the Raleigh fair after 25 visitors became sick with E-coli last year at the fair.

The measures are expected to reduce the amount of contact between people and animals.