An Alabama “miracle baby” who was born without a nose passed away just months after his second birthday.
Eli Thompson was born without a nose. This means he did not have a nasal passage or sinus cavities. When he was just 5 days old, the little boy received a tracheotomy. He was also diagnosed with arhinia, which is a congenital facial condition. According to the National Institute of Health, arhinia has only been recorded 30 times.
Eli put a smile on the face of everyone he met. He may not have had a nose, but he made up for it with a smiling personality. His father, Jeremy Finch said, “He touched a lot of people’s lives. A lot of people cared about him.”
Finch posted to Facebook: “We lost our little buddy last night,” he continued, “I’ll never be able to make sense of why this happened, and this will hurt deeply for a long time. But I’m so blessed to have had this beautiful boy in my life!”
Finch continued, “He finished his race a lot earlier than we would have liked, but it was God’s time to bring him back home,” Finch posted on Facebook. “I’ll forever look forward to seeing him at the gates of heaven waiting on me to give me another one of his famous fist bumps! I love you little man. Rest in peace with my Father.”
Eli had turned two years old on March 4.
He was pronounced dead at around 10:40 p.m. at Springhill Medical Center in Mobile, Finch said.
He used baby sign language, and Finch was starting to do speech therapy at home with a speaking valve, he said. “His favorite sign was ‘cookie,'” he said. The first thing he did every morning was to ask for a cookie, and he recently received the “Cookie Monster Award” from his daycare.
Eli was born at South Baldwin Hospital in Foley, then immediately transported to USA Children’s and Women’s Hospital in Mobile. He received a tracheotomy at 5 days old.
Through a no-longer-extant Facebook page called Eli’s Story, thousands of people followed the tale of the baby born with arhinia, a rare facial anomaly said to affect only one in 197 million births.
When he was 7 months old, Eli met another child, Tessa Evans of Ireland, then 2 1/2 years old, who also had arhinia.