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DULUTH - As she sifted through her box of gifts and get–well cards Friday, 9-year-old Endya McGee had something to smile about after more than two weeks in the hospital.
About three weeks ago, the fourth grader and her family noticed something was wrong.
"I kind of just woke up and it started hurting," Endya said.
"Then she played soccer that day, we just figured it was from the soccer," her dad, Jeff McGee said.
However, her dad and mom learned quickly that it was not just cramps.
They brought her into the hospital where they were told she had a bone infection called Osteomyelitis.
Dr. Laura Trambino and her team at Essentia Health St. Mary's Medical Center helped remove Endya's infection, which is spread through community contact.
Dr. Trambino said over the past five or six years, she has seen more of Endya's severe type of Oseteomyelitis, which unlike others, cannot be treated with antibiotics alone.
"With these more aggressive types of infections like MRSA, what we're seeing is they require far more treatment, much longer treatment," Dr. Trambino said.
With seven surgeries behind her, Endya and her family were happy to have her home.
They said they were grateful for the support of friends, family and classmates and for the fact they caught the infection early.
"It's something that I never thought would happen I mean it's one of those things that you just, who knew?" Jeff McGee said.
A full recovery could take a couple months and starting to walk again will be key for returning back to school.
But, with the countless reminders of those who care, Endya said she was excited to get there.
The McGees expressed gratitude for the surgical team and nursing staff, along with Endya's fourth grade class, soccer team, and church members for their support.