Real Life

Eli Thompson, the toddler born without a nose, has passed away

The two-year-old was "always smiling and giving everybody fist bumps".

By Kate Wagner
Eli Thompson, the toddler born without a nose you definitely fell in love with, has sadly died at just two years old.
After celebrating his second birthday only last month, his father Jeremy Finch announced the little guy passed away on Saturday night in Alabama.
Finch described Eli as "very, very bright and happy, always smiling and giving everybody fist bumps" to al.com.
Eli suffered from arhinia, a rare facial anomaly which only affects one in every 197 million births. As a result, Eli was born prematurely without any nasal passages or sinus cavities and was forced to undergo a tracheotomy at just five days old.
Eli had started to use baby sign language and speech therapy with a speaking valve at home.
"His favourite sign was 'cookie,'" Finch 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.”
Tearing up, Finch explained to al.com how, in spite of the circumstances, Elias has bubbly personality that won him a lot of fans.
"He touched a lot of people's lives," Finch said. "A lot of people cared about him."
Despite the rarity of the disease, Eli met another child with arhinia when he was seven-months-old – two-and-a-half-year-old Tess Evans from Ireland.
"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."
Our thoughts are with the gorgeous boy’s family in this difficult time.