Born in Alabama in 2015 to parents Jeremy Finch and Brandi McGlathery, Eli Thompson had a rare congenital facial condition which caused him to live without a nose. He became a media sensation soon after his photographs were shown to the public – with fans dubbing him as “the miracle baby”. However, on June 3, 2017, Finch revealed to the world that Eli had passed away the previous night, at the age of 2.
Eli Thompson was born with a rare congenital condition called arrhinia, or nasal agenesis. It is marked by the absence of the nose from the body. The condition is extremely rare, with only 47 cases been reported in modern history. There is still no reason found for the occurrence of this craniofacial abnormality. Eli’s mother Brandi says that when Eli was born, she noticed that he had no nose. When she told the doctors, they told her that the baby was perfectly normal and healthy otherwise.
But Eli had to go through a tracheotomy at only 5 days old. This involved surgically making an incision in his windpipe to help him breathe. Following the procedure, some of his photographs were uploaded onto the internet and Eli soon gained a substantial number of fans. People were inspired by how the baby remained strong and brave despite all that he was going through. It also helped that he was absolutely adorable.
In response to his son’s growing popularity, Jeremy established Eli’s own Facebook page called ‘Eli’s Story’, where he would document Eli’s growth and progress in the form of photographs and videos. The page received thousands of likes and Eli Thompson went viral on the internet as “the miracle baby”. The nickname was given to him to celebrate his unique features and contagiously joyful personality, despite the odds. “He was the centre of attraction for the public,” Finch says. “He got love and support from around the world and it was quite helpful for us.”
Finch further explained Eli’s life following his overnight fame. He had started speech therapy at home and could even use baby sign language to communicate with his parents. He had an infectious smile and loved to give people fist bumps. Many people think that the news of his death came quite out of the blue given the rosy picture shown to the general public. However, it must not be forgotten that Eli did have a life-threatening condition that he and his family were dealing with every single day.
Eli’s father broke the news on June 3, 2017 in a Facebook post. He writes, “We lost our little buddy last night. 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!” Eli passed away only months after celebrating his 2nd birthday. The post has received over a 1000 likes and 130 shares. Many people around the world came together to grieve and remember the baby who lighted up their lives with his little actions