Facebook recently faced backlash after banning photos of baby Timothy Eli Thompson, a boy who was born without a nose.
Judging a picture of Eli that a pro-life group was using to promote his story as “too controversial,” Facebook removed a photo of the infant from the website.
Angered by their decision, Eli’s mother, Brandi McGlathery, wrote on Facebook — “Excuse my language, but I’ll be damned if Facebook keeps me from sharing my baby’s story!
“It sickens me that I can see pictures of half naked women, drugs, & negativity, but my child is too ‘controversial’. What has happened to humanity?”
The story about the banned photo was then shared over 30,000 times within six hours, and after immense criticism, the social media company restored the pictures to the site.
“I posted the status with a link about it saying no one’s going to keep me from posting photos of my child. If I can see completely distasteful things on Facebook all day long, then I can post a picture of my son,” Brandi told WKRG.
“A friend of ours told us that the reason they were banning him was because he broke the internet! He was everywhere and he broke the internet!” said Brandi.
Eli was born prematurely on March 4 with a rare condition called congenital arhinia. With this condition, which has a one in 197 million chance of happening, the person is born without any nasal cavities or sinus cavities.
Facebook was not the only culprit that came out of Eli’s online fame. Some people went as far as to message the 23-year-old mother asking her why she hadn’t had an abortion and that she should give her baby up for adoption.
“That took a lot of maturity to not respond the way that the mom in me wanted to!” McGlathery said.
Eli, who is otherwise healthy, had to undergo a tracheotomy at only five days old so he could breathe while being fed.
On Eli’s Journey Facebook page, McGlathery has been providing diligent details of the infant’s progress – from the good news of test results to successful first baths and bottle feedings.
Describing him as “the most beautiful boy I’ve ever laid eyes on,” the proud mother-of-three also shared her worries for what Eli may experience because of his condition.
“My biggest fear for Eli is that the world won’t see him as the beautiful, brave little boy that I see him as.”
Eli’s condition is one that is treatable and would require either a series of minor surgeries at age one or a major invasive surgery when he’s a teenager.
Ultimately, according to Brandi, the decision will fall on Eli whether or not he wants to have a nose.
“I just hope that he’s happy either way, whether he decides, you know, when the times comes that he does want a nose or not,” she said. “I just want him to be happy and to be happy with himself.”
Metro reports that doctors are hoping to eventually be able to drill nasal passages in Eli’s skull when he’s older in order to help him breathe.
A GoFundMe page has since been set up for baby Eli to help with his medical care, and thus far, it’s received over $40,000.
Touched by the love and support that has been bestowed on little Eli, Brandi and her family hope that such positivity will stay with him throughout his lifetime.
[Image via Metro/AL.COM/Landov/Barcroft Media UK]