A few short weeks ago, Annadelle Faulkner learned and played with her friends Orange Beach Elementary, a reality her mom notes with a therapeutic smile and tear that’s equal parts fatigue and worry.

Such near, relatively carefree days seem so far when one’s child lies in a pediatric intensive care unit, fighting off a serious infection.

Neeli Faulkner, known to the local sports community for her work coordinating the Noble Street Festival and serving as the most-recent former Woodstock 5K’s race director, and her husband Chris are doing all they can to help their 5-year-old daughter fight transverse myelitis. Meanwhile, they have established a GoFundMe to help with medical and other costs incurred because of their stay at USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital in Mobile.

Annadelle has been hospitalized since Oct. 1. It’s not yet known whether her condition is viral or bacterial, but doctors have her on high-dose steroids. Physical therapists, meanwhile, are working to help her regain full use of her left arm and leg.

Respiratory distress caused Annadelle a return to PICU after she had briefly stepped down.

Transverse myelitis is caused by inflammation of the spinal cord. Interference with brain signals presents as neurologic dysfunction in motor and sensory tracts on both sides of the spinal cord.

Annadelle’s hospital stay could last months. Meanwhile, her parents, who recently moved the family to the Gulf Coast, are staying at a Ronald McDonald House about a mile from the hospital.

Neeli Faulkner has kept family and friends updated with frequent Facebook posts. Their GoFundMe, established nine days ago, has raised $3,270 toward a $3,500 goal. For those who would like to help, the link is https://www.gofundme.com/fund-for-princess-annadelle.

Sports Writer Joe Medley: 256-235-3576. On Twitter: @jmedley_star.

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