• Vigil held for more than 100 victims of E.coli outbreak


    CLEVELAND COUNTY, N.C. - More than 100 friends and family members of children sickened by the E.coli outbreak joined together for a special prayer service Saturday night.

    For Bennie McClannon, seeing friends and family members at Firestone Wesleyan Church in Gastonia was bittersweet.

    "Jordan is still so sick," she said, choking back tears.

    Her 12-year-old grandson Jordan is still in an induced coma, fighting for his life against E.coli. Because of McClannon's own illness, she can't see him in the hospital.

    "I can't see for myself if he's got pink cheeks again or if he still looks bright and waxy," she said.

    There are now 106 people sick with E. coli, most of them children. The outbreak has spread to nine different counties and killed 2-year-old Gage Lefevers.

    Health officials believe it started from the animals at the Cleveland County Fair.

    At Saturday's prayer service, there were tears and prayers.

    "I believe that prayer does work. And that the more noise we make, the more the lord will work," McClannon said.

    Five-year-old Hannah Roberts is doing better. Saturday marked her third day without dialysis. Doctors are hopeful she could be released from the hospital late Monday.

    Still, her grandmother says her heart breaks for the other families.

    "We want everybody to get a miracle," said Kathy Shockley.

    Many families said they want permanent changes at all fairs around the state.

    "I don't think they need to have animals there. Little children don't need to be petting strange animals anymore," McClannon said.


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