An Alabama boy, known as the “Miracle Baby,” died on Saturday due to his rare condition. He was 2.
Eli Thompson was born in March 2015 with an extremely rare condition known as congenital arhinia: he has no external nose, nasal cavity or olfactory system. He was just one of about 40 people in the world with the condition.
Eli’s father, Jeremy Finch, confirmed the sad news Sunday on Facebook.
“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!” Finch wrote.
“He finished his race a lot earlier than we would have liked, but it was God’s time to bring him back home. 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,” he concluded.
Finch created a GoFundMe page to raise funds for Eli’s funeral.
“I’m a proud man and I don’t like to ask for anything, but my baby’s funeral expenses are more than we can bear at this time,” Finch wrote, adding, “If we raise more than we need, the excess will be given to charity in his name.”
The GoFundMe has well exceeded its initial goal of $12,000 with over $16,000 (at time this was published).
In April 2015, Eli’s mother, Brandi McGlathery, shared her son’s health condition with the world, telling Today: “He’s just like any other baby. He just doesn’t have a nose.”
When Eli was born, he was mostly healthy otherwise, and immediately underwent a tracheotomy to allow him to breathe while feeding, which meant his parents had to clean around the incision at least twice a day.
Many of Eli’s family and friends shared tributes on Facebook with photos of the young child.