Seconds after she gave birth, the doctors took Brandi’s newborn son away, leaving her alone in the delivery room for 10 frightening minutes. After all, she thought she’d seen something strange when she looked at Baby Eli for the very first time…
She was right. Eli didn’t have a nose. She wasn’t even sure if he’d make it through the night…but he did.
Eli Thompson has an extremely rare condition known as complete congenital arhinia. The chance of being born with this condition? One in 197 million. For the first few days of his life, Eli the miracle baby was kept in a pod inside USA Children’s and Women’s Hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit. At just five days old, he had a tracheotomy. Besides not having an external nose, he doesn’t have a nasal cavity or olfactory system. There are only about 37 cases worldwide like his. In fact, doctors were so blown away by Eli that they’re now writing a case study on him.
After Eli’s tracheotomy — and after much research — Brandi became the first mother ever to breastfeed a baby with a trach at the hospital. Her family has taken CPR classes, and Brandi and her husband Troy have learned how to care for Eli’s trach. Though he’ll grow up working with craniofacial specialists, Brandi is convinced that Eli will not only survive babyhood, but that he’ll grow to adulthood.
Brandi’s family has created a Facebook page for Eli, full of photos; updates; and positive, encouraging comments from hundreds of people. Eli is “100-percent healthy,” Brandi said. “He just doesn’t have a nose. He has a few hormone deficiencies, but other than that he’s healthy.” She is already worried about “the day he comes home and someone has made fun of his nose. We don’t want anyone to pity him. We never want anyone to say they feel sorry for him. If other people express that, he’ll feel that way about himself.”
Since Eli’s condition affects his pituitary gland, he’ll have to be past puberty before his nasal passageways can be built. Until then, Brandi is holding off on any unnecessary facial surgeries.
Watch a video of Eli below, and prepare to fall in love with this adorable miracle baby. Please SHARE his inspiring story with your friends on Facebook!
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