Once in a while, a story of extraordinary bravery and positivity in the face of real hardship touches us all. We hear about people coping with adversity in such poignant fashion that the protagonists touch the lives of those they will never meet. The story of Eli Thompson is one such tale.The toddler was born without a nose due to an incredibly rare condition known as arhinia, which causes sufferers to be born without nasal passages and sinus cavities.
So scarce is the condition, in fact, that it is believed to only affect one in every 197 million births. In addition to being born with arhinia, Eli had to undergo a tracheotomy a mere five days into his life, but overcame these hardships to develop an effervescent, infectious personality that endeared him to people all over the world. He was loved fiercely by all who knew him.
His father says that Eli would use baby sign language, every morning trying his luck by signing “cookie” in a bid to be given a tasty treat; even winning the Cookie Monster Award from his daycare.
Sadly though, the two-year-old who captured the hearts of so many through his spirit and love of life, has died just a few months after his second birthday on March 4, according to his father Jeremy Finch.
It is reported that Eli Thompson was pronounced dead at the Springhill Medical Centre in Mobile, Alabama on Saturday night mere months after his second birthday.
Described by his father to Al.com as “very, very bright and happy, always smiling and giving everybody fist bumps”, Eli embodied a hope and positivity that was infectious to all who knew him – and many who never met him – after his story was widely shared online.
“He touched a lot of people’s lives,” his father attests, “A lot of people cared about him.”
Though incredibly rare, when he was just seven months old, Eli did meet another child who shared his condition before he passed away; a two-year-old girl named Tessa Evans. Her mother describes the encounter thus;
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 was totally taken with Eli and hugged him and stroked his hand. Watching Eli gaze up at her was too precious for words.
Eli was born at South Baldwin Hospital in Foley, before being immediately transferred to USA Children’s and Women’s Hospital in Mobile, reports Al.com.
Many thousands of people had been following Eli’s progress through a Facebook page named Eli’s Story, which currently no longer exist according to Al.
The toddler has touched the lives of a great many people, described as a miracle baby at his birth, he continued defying the odds with a smile right up until his tragic passing. Full arrangements for Eli Thompson’s funeral are still being made by his family, though it will be held at the Fountain of Life church in Saraland.