New mother Brandi McGlathery received the shock of her lifetime when she greeted her newborn son into the world on March 4 of this year, only to notice that the baby was born without a nose. According to ABC 13, Brandi was the first in the delivery room to notice that something was very wrong.
“I pulled him back so I could get a better look at him. Then I said, ‘Something’s wrong with him.’ My doctor said, ‘No, he’s perfectly fine.’ I said, ‘No he doesn’t have a nose!'”
In an interview with USA Today, Brandi explains her shock when she first realized her baby was born without a nose.
“I had been in labor for 23 hours with him, to be honest I thought I was hallucinating when I noticed that he didn’t have a nose.”
Eli Thompson’s condition, congential arhinia, is so rare that he is one of only 37 babies in the entire world to be born without a nose. Unfortunately, the birth defect reaches even deeper into his anatomy. The baby has no nasal cavity and no olfactory system, which means he has no sense of smell.
Though he doesn’t have a nose, Eli was able to breathe well through his mouth immediately after he was born. The biggest problem occurred while breastfeeding. The baby could not eat and breathe at the same time, which led to a tracheotomy. Since that surgery, Eli is doing very well.
Since the condition of being born without a nose is so rare, there is no way to know what types of surgery lie ahead for the baby, or whether or not the procedures will be covered by insurance. It is possible that doctors will be able to construct a nasal passage, but the process will not be complete until after puberty.
A family friend has created a GoFundMe page for Eli. The original goal of $5,000 has been far surpassed and at this point has reached over $32,000. This may sound like a large amount and will certainly help to make a dent in the sizable medical bills that will begin to roll in for this young family, but there are other issues to consider as well. By next month, baby Eli and his parents will be traveling from their home in Alabama to Texas to begin seeing specialists. Medical bills aside, the cost of gas, food, hotel, and other miscellaneous traveling expenses will add up very quickly. Eli’s mom is already planning for his future.
“All we can do is love him, and let him know that he is special and beautiful to us and pray that what we do at home is enough to outweigh the bad things people will say about him as he grows up.”
This little guy may have been born without a nose, but to his parents, and indeed to the world, he is beautiful.