ROBERT Dobie munched on a burger during a visit to Swindon... and it almost cost him his life.

A few days after eating the snack, the 13-year-old from Marlborough had a stroke and went into a coma with a rare form of e-coli.

Now back at his Rabley Wood View home, Robert is thanking his lucky stars doctors managed to stop his parents' worst fears from being realised.

Robert fell ill on December 13, was admitted to the Great Western Hospital on December 18 and spent Christmas and New Year fighting for his life at Bristol Children's Hospital.

Tests showed that he had contracted haemolytic uraemic syndrome, a severe form of the food poisoning bug e-coli. It caused his kidneys to stop functioning, allowing toxins to build up in his bloodstream.

But less than two months on, the St John's School pupil is making a remarkable recovery.

He said: "I just felt really unwell. It came on quite quickly just a few days after I ate the burger.

"I can't really remember much, it was horrible. But I'm feeling a bit better because I can walk quite far now.

"I can play my Playstation now and use my laptop. A few weeks ago I went up to school and all my mates were saying get well soon'."

Mum Michelle said the whole family thought the worst when Robert was in intensive care.

"We did not know what to think," she said. "We just couldn't figure out was happening - it was horrendous. Thank God he got through it.

"Robert is doing brilliantly and he had a check-up yesterday. He has put on half a stone since he has been back home and we think he's grown about three inches since he was in hospital.

"The doctors are really pleased with his progress."

Robert came out of the coma on December 30 and the following day - his mum's birthday - it was apparent his kidneys were working again.

Mrs Dobie described it as the best birthday present she could have wished for.

While he was in Bristol, Swindon Town fan Robert was visited by Robins midfielder Jon-Paul McGovern, who gave him a signed ball and limited-edition Town shirt.

Despite his excellent progress, Robert is unlikely to be back at school until after Easter.

A Swindon Council spokeswoman said the authority had been made aware of the case by Kennet District Council.

She said: "We take all cases of suspected e-coli very seriously. On being made aware of this incident we acted immediately and carried out a thorough investigation. The bacteria were identified as the harmful e-coli 157 strand, but we have been unable to confirm the source because of the individual's varied eating history during the onset period.

"We are happy that there is no further risk to Swindon residents."