He's the little fighter born with one the rarest conditions in the world. Baby Eli doesn't have a nose!
Brandi and Troy Thompson were expecting to have a healthy baby. Brandi's ultrasound appeared perfectly normal but when their son was born they were stunned.
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Brandi said, “It scared the living daylights out of me. I didn't even know it was possible. I said, 'Something is wrong with him.' My doctor said, 'No he's fine.' I pulled him back from my chest to get a better look at him and I said, 'He doesn’t have a nose.'”
Baby Eli suffers from Congenital Arhinia. He's missing his nose and his nasal cavity. There are only 40 known cases in the world.
But little Eli was born with the will to survive.
Brandi said, “He was born breathing through his mouth, completely on his own.”
Doctors in Mobile, Alabama, gave him a tracheotomy to help him breath while eating. Making sure it stays clean is complicated.
Dad puts on sterile gloves and armed with a Q-Tip he cleans Eli’s breathing tube several times a day.
Troy said, “I'm cleaning around his trach with a mixture of sterile water and hydrogen peroxide.”
Mom uses a suction tube to keep the path clear. It's a process the five-week-old doesn't like. When he cries, he doesn't make a sound so his parents keep an eye on him 24-hours-a-day.
While our cameras were there, baby Eli sneezed. The fact that Eli is able to sneeze gives the family hope that he has functioning nasal passages and that one day doctors will be able to build Eli a nose that works.
Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Marc Mani told INSIDE EDITION, “The best way to reconstruct a nose cosmetically is to wait until the child gets to about adolescence because the growth of a reconstructed nose is going to be unpredictable until that point. The other issue is the function of the nose, the nasal cavities and that can be very difficult.”
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Something else that worries Eli’s mom are the taunts that are sure to come.
Brandi said, “I don't know how I’m going to handle myself the day he comes home and says, 'Mom, someone made fun of my nose.'”
And get this, she says Facebook actually tried to ban her son's image, citing it "may shock or evoke a negative response."
She said, “It was absolutely ridiculous! Why can't I post a photo of my completely innocent and beautiful son?”
Facebook backed off and lifted the ban.
A victory for this proud mom and dad who say even though their baby was born without a nose, he has the heart of a champion.
"He is perfect. that fact that he doesn't have a nose makes him so cute," said Brandi.
Click Here to Visit the Family's GoFundMe Page to Help Support Baby Eli
Watch Below: Father and Son Have an Adorable Dance Off