Eli Thompson was born without a nose and had a tough start in life – but he stole the hearts of people across the country with his personality and charm.
He was born at South Baldwin Hospital in Foley, Alabama with a condition called arrhinia, he had no nasal passages or sinus cavities.
Only one in 197 million children born has this condition.
Eli received a tracheotomy at just 5 days old. He was also diagnosed with arhinia, a congenital facial condition that has only been recorded 30 times.
The little toddler lived in the spotlight for the first few months of his life. When he was six months old, his parent split.
But despite all the difficulties, Eli thrived.
Through a Facebook page called Eli’s Story, thousands of people all over the world followed the tale of the baby born.
Jeremy Finch, Eli’s dad, said Eli was very smart and always smiling.
“He touched a lot of people’s lives,” Finch told AL.com with tears in his voice. ”A lot of people cared about him.”
Eli communicated using baby sign language and had started speech therapy at home.
At the time of his 2015 birth, many had dubbed Eli the “Miracle Baby” and supporters were regularly updated on his developments through social media.
Just like every other kid, Eli’s favorite thing to eat was cookies!
“His favorite sign was ‘cookie,’” the father 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.
From the start of his life, Eli inspired people.
When he was 7 months old, Eli met another child with the same diagnosis. Tessa Evans of Ireland, then 2 1/2 years old, also had arhinia.
”To get to introduce Tessa to Eli was like a dream come true and it meant the world to us to sit and talk with his family,” Tessa’s mother, Grainne Evans, wrote after the meeting.
“Tessa was totally taken with Eli and hugged him and stroked his head. Watching Eli gaze up at her was too precious for words.”
Tragically, Eli died just two months after celebrating his second birthday.
“We lost our little buddy last night,” Jeremy Finch, Eli Thompson’s father, posted on Facebook in 2017.
“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!”
The announcement of the boy’s death came as a shock for many of Eli’s supporters.
“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.”
So Sorry for your Loss …Baby is Adorable …Sweet Angel in Heaven …God Bless to All .. ❤️