Beloved grandmother welcomed home from Hepatitis A health battle

Family and friends lined up to be reunited with their beloved grandmother, neighbor, and friend.
Family and friends lined up to be reunited with their beloved grandmother, neighbor, and friend.(WDBJ)
Published: Dec. 1, 2021 at 9:39 PM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - A crowd gathered behind Back Creek Elementary School Wednesday night, anxiously awaiting the return of Patrice Dalton after a ten-week stay in a hospital.

Dalton experienced major health complications, and needed a liver transplant, after she and two other family members contracted Hepatitis A, due to exposure at Famous Anthony’s.

“She hasn’t seen anyone in about three months or so, so my aunt had the idea to get together and do the parade,” says granddaughter Julie Dalton. “She was so worried about her Christmas decorations as well so we spent 9 hours yesterday doing her Christmas decorations at her house that she doesn’t know about.”

“It really is a miracle for her to get this horrible infection and then to get a liver transplant within less than two days on the transplant list; that’s unheard of,” says family friend Mike Breiner.

Dalton’s grandchildren, coworkers, neighbors, and lifelong friends lined up to welcome her home during the surprise parade.

The matriarch’s daughter, Dara Hawkins, says the community delivered meals and assisted with doctors’ appointments while she and her father were also recovering from the disease.

“I knew we had great friends and family, but I didn’t know how great until they started all this,” says Hawkins. “Cards, texts, calls, they really have helped so much. We are blessed with the friends and family that we have.”

After the event, Patrice says what she’s most excited about is being able to hug all her grandchildren again.

“It’s wonderful, overwhelming, so thankful. Just thankful to be home and to see all those people is awesome,” said Dalton.

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