The following text has been copied from a Facebook post on my personal profile that has now been set to private. It is part of a series of posts providing details about the first part of my daughter’s fight with Transverse Myelitis.
Some good news coming today as we just heard Annadelle’s white blood cell count is back in normal range. Her X-ray from this morning is also showing improvement, praise God.
The bacteria in her sputum was identified as haemophilus influenzae. They said it is the better one of the two they thought it could be and that it is treatable with an antibiotic tailored specifically to graham-negative rods? I didn’t pay enough attention in my biology classes to truly understand all that, so maybe my nurse friends can help me out. Haha! They will be starting her on ampicillin shortly.
Overall we are continuing to see improvements, no doubt from the countless number of people praying for my sweet girl. Please continue to pray for complete healing!
I have had a few friends message me asking about the onset of Annadelle’s transverse myelitis, so I wanted to take a minute and give a brief breakdown of what has happened over the past few weeks. I know it can be difficult to read back over my many updates for the last 2 weeks and I think this summary may help to understand the full extent of what we have been dealing with.
Thursday, 9/27/18: Annadelle came home from school not feeling well. She was complaining of a headache and began to run a slight fever early evening. Her temp was 99.7 but rose to 101.6 overnight. We gave her Tylenol to try to bring it down, but the fever persisted all night.
Friday, 9/28/18: Unable to break the fever all night and Annadelle now complaining of back pain, we took her to American Family Care Urgent Care Clinic in Orange Beach (AL). She still had fever and had started having chills. AFC swabbed her for strep but it was negative. They told us it was simply a virus and to rotate Tylenol and Motrin until the fever came down. They sent us home with Azithromycin “just to be safe”. The fever continued all night, as well as the back pain.
Saturday, 9/29/18: Our attempts to remedy Annadelle’s fever were futile and she continued to complain of worsening back pain. She also complained of neck pain, so we decided to take her to a different urgent care- South Baldwin Medical Center (Gulf Shores) Urgent Care. Doctors there gave her a urinalysis believing her back pain was from a UTI, but her white blood cell count was normal. During our visit, her fever finally broke, but she then developed a red rash that would disappear quickly and then reappear on another part of her body. It did not itch or hurt her at all. Right before they discharged us, her fever shot up to 101.6 and doctors there were very concerned of a bacterial infection and suggested a spinal tap. I believe the doctor was concerned that it was early stages of bacterial meningitis. They sent us to South Baldwin Regional Medical Center ER in Foley for blood tests.
While at the ER, they swabbed her for strep and flu and took blood. Everything came back negative except for her blood as her white cell counts were slightly elevated. By this time, her back and neck pain was so extreme that she could not lay down or sit up on her own. She could hold herself up, but the act of moving from a lying down position to sitting up was too painful for her. The doctor in the ER told us the same thing we had been told at AFC- it was just a virus and would remedy itself in a few days. He said in the event he had missed something and it was bacterial meningitis, he would give us an antibiotic to cover that, but he did not believe it to be meningitis.
Sunday, 9/30/18: Annadelle’s fever continued but she was in good spirits. When she woke up, she was unable to love her left arm or hand. Because she was laughing and playing, we honestly thought she could be faking her arm not being able to move and went on about the day rotating Tylenol and Motrin. Obviously I feel terrible for overlooking this, but I was assured this was simply a virus. That afternoon while my mom was over and helping us clean up the backyard, Annadelle collapsed. She wasn’t able to pick herself up, but once I picked her up she was walking fine. It was almost as if her legs just gave out. We went back inside and she ate dinner and watched TV for a while, no fever present by now.
Monday, 10/1/18: Once again Annadelle woke up with a fever and was still not using her left arm. At this point I realized she was not faking this at all, something was very wrong. She was also not using her left leg or foot. We made plans to visit a local pediatrician, but when we arrived the office was closed for lunch. Chris made the decision to leave right then and head to the closest children’s hospital- University of South Alabama Children’s and Women’s Hospital in Mobile, about an hour drive from our home in Orange Beach.
On the ride here, Annadelle was very sleepy. One of the photos I have included in this post shows her in the car seat on the way here. You can see how limp her arm is and really her whole body in general. She had shallow breathing and did not want to drink much. We thought she might have been dehydrated.
Once we arrived at the ER here, the nurse knew something was really wrong. He ushered us through triage within 10 minutes, and within another 10 minutes, she was in respiratory distress. The RTs had to suction her extensively and finally got her breathing well enough for high flow oxygen. This is where our wild ride of a hospital stay began.
If you are just now tuning in to my updates, Annadelle has been diagnosed with a very rare neurological condition called Transverse Myelitis. This condition causes lesions in the myelin sheath surrounding the spinal cord, blocking messages from the brain to the rest of the body. Often times it causes paralysis in patients, although many of the stories I have heard about only experience paralysis from the waist down. In Annadelle’s case, she was immobile from the neck down.
Treatment for Transverse Myelitis consists of steroids, IVIG, physical therapy or a procedure called plasmapharesis. She has already received many rounds of heavy steroids and 2 rounds of IVIG. She has also received physical therapy once a day.
Our hospital stay has had many ups and downs. Doctors have treated her with many steroids and IVIG. She has now developed a cold that turned into pneumonia. She is on a ventilator until the pneumonia has been treated and her lungs have gained enough strength to support her body.
I have mentioned this before but I want to say it loud for the people in the back: Annadelle does NOT have acute flaccid myelitis that has been featured recently on Good Morning America. Although not much is known about AFM, it is believed to be caused by enterovirus 68 which Annadelle tested negative for upon admission. However, AFM is a substrain of Transverse Myelitis which is why some of the symptoms are similar. In essence, both of these conditions are the modern day poliovirus- that is, mutated strains of the virus that has been eradicated in the US.
If you take anything from our story, I want you to remember 2 things.
First is that if you have children, I want you to hug them tight each night. There are so many things I took for granted, one of which was a healthy child. So many small things we aren’t able to do right now just eat at me. I wish I had really soaked up all that love and snuggles from my sweet girl.
The second is that even though I can’t get that love of snuggles, I know without a doubt that God is at work. If I have ever doubted His power in the past (and trust me, I have), I know there is no such thing as a coincidence. The fact that my grandfather awoke suddenly at 3:00am with an overwhelming need to pray for our girl at the same time she was being intubated shows God’s presence is all around us and PRAYER WORKS. No matter what ANY doctor tells you, God is the ultimate physician and can make anything happen. No matter your story or your wrongdoings or your unfaithfulness, He will never leave us, just as He has not left my family for the 16 days we have been here in the PICU.
As I shared earlier, God never said a weapon would not form against us, He just said a weapon will not prosper. Our duty is to be steadfast in our faith and believe He will do as He promises time and again in His word. Chris and I know He will provide complete healing to our sweet angel as we believe and trust in His blessings and His promises.
Hear me now when I say Annadelle’s story will soon serve as a testimony to those who don’t believe or who have lost their way in their faith. I have no doubt the purpose for us enduring this is to lead others on this holy path we have forged over the past year. All the changes we have made and the things we have done paved the way for where we are now. We knew something was coming, we just didn’t know how much we would be tested. Ask anyone who talked to us before this happened and they will tell you this is no lie- God spoke to us and helped to prepare us for this journey.
This has been and will continue to be a bumpy road, but we are not alone. Not only do we have hundreds of family and friends surrounding us with love, but we also have a Heavenly Father looking out over us as we battle daily.
Thank you so much for everything. All the shares, the prayer, the donations to our GoFundMe or PayPal, all the letters sent and cards received, countless boxes of goodies and even people we don’t know personally who stopped by to pray with us- it is a testament in itself to show how far and wide our story has spread.
Lastly, I want to share some info for many who have been messaging me asking for it.
➡️ The address at the hospital is:
University of South Alabama Children’s and Women’s Hospital
PICU Room 11, Patient Annadelle Faulkner
1700 Center Street
Mobile, AL 36604
➡️ Our PayPal email is:
➡️ Our GoFundMe link is:
➡️ For those asking what we need:
• We are in need with some help on our home in Alexandria that we are preparing to sell. Please contact my cousin Robin Coley if you are willing to help with a few things needed to get it on the market.
Needed items include:
1️⃣ Back door needs to be replaced
2️⃣ Railing on front porch repaired
3️⃣ Paint in kitchen, 2 bathrooms and downstairs
4️⃣ Paint some trim and doors
5️⃣ Some wall repair (small holes that can be mudded easily)
6️⃣ General cleaning of yard and deep cleaning of bathrooms
7️⃣ Installation of one toilet
• Our stay at the Ronald McDonald House of Mobile is costing us $12/day. If you would like to put anything towards our account, you can do it by phone. The number is 251-694-6873.
• Meals are costing us a fortune. If you happen to have any meal coupons for the Waitr app or other food service, we would be very grateful to have them.
Again, thank you for all the love and support. We truly appreciate it. 💜💜💜