Annadelle Faulkner of Orange Beach is battling a rare spinal inflammation.By John Mullen

October 22, 2018 – Orange Beach, AL (OBA®) – A Go Fund Me campaign for an Orange Beach Elementary School kindergartner exploded over the weekend of Oct. 19-21 to surge past $17,890. On Oct. 17 it was just shy of $4,000.

The campaign is for Annadelle Faulkner who began complaining with a variety of symptoms in the closing days of September but doctors couldn’t pinpoint the causes. She is the daughter of Neeli and Chris Faulkner of Orange Beach.

“We went to two different urgent cares in Baldwin County and all of them sent us home and said she just had a virus and would get better,” Neeli said. “Monday when she got up and couldn’t walk we decided we’re going to Children’s. The second we walked in the door they knew exactly what was going on with her.”

A luau fundraiser for Annadelle will be Oct. 30 in Orange Beach.On Oct. 1 doctors recognized the symptoms as transverse myelitis, an inflammation of the spine that has limited Annadelle’s movements. She is still in USA Children’s and Women’s Hospital in Mobile.

“It’s crazy because it came out of nowhere,” Neeli said. “She was otherwise a happy, healthy child. I picked her up from school on a Thursday and she was zoned out and seemed kind of tired. Overnight she just developed a low fever and it progressed from there. She started talking about her back hurting, her head would hurt and eventually she lost the use of her left arm.”

On Oct. 2 a fellow parent, Nicole Watson, a passing acquaintance whose son is in Annadelle’s class, started the Go Fund Me page.

“We didn’t really know each other we just somewhat knew each other,” Watson said.

Watson heard of the family’s plight and started a Go Fund Me campaign to help the family with travel and day-to-day living expenses as the family has spent most of its time at Children’s Hospital in Mobile since the diagnosis.

“She’s a friend of mine now,” Neeli said.

“She’s family now,” Watson said.

The money raised has been used for meals and transportation and expenses of basically living at the hospital. The family has a room in the city’s Ronald McDonald House but uses it only as a place to shower. Annadelle is in Pediatric Intensive Care and is likely be there for weeks or even months.

“She’s been in the pediatric ICU because part of the worry is that the brain will stop sending messages to vital organs such as her respiratory system and the brain won’t tell those muscles that they need to breathe and she’d stop breathing,” Neeli said. “From what we’ve been told it can be a very long process. Sometimes it can take years to recover at least partially from it. There’s a lot of physical therapy and occupational therapy involved.”