A baby boy born without a nose, a condition so rare it only has a one in 197 million chance of happening, is finally going home to his parents in Alabama after three weeks in the hospital.
Timothy Eli Thompson was born premature on March 4 without any nasal passages or sinus cavities. He is one of only 37 people who have been born with complete congenital arhinia.
He had to undergo a tracheotomy at only 5days old.
His mother Brandi McGlathery was expecting "a perfectly healthy baby boy" after every ultrasound came back normal during her pregnancy.
McGlathery, 23, has since been diligently tracking the ups and downs of her baby's progress on a Facebook page titled Eli's Journey, which already has over 4,000 likes.
Eli has been treated at the USA Children's and Women's Hospital in Mobile for three weeks.
McGlathery has shared the good news of his test results, including an eye exam and cranial scan that came back normal, as well as the "hard blow" the family was dealt when they found out Eli didn't have nasal passages.
This means that even though Eli can have a nose built for him, doctors are still unsure at this point "if it will actually be functional," she wrote.
The mother-of-three has also shared the emotional joys she's had with Eli, including his first successful bath and bottle feeding, and the first time she saw his face without an oral respirator.
Both of Eli's parents and his grandmothers have learned the proper way to suction, clean and change his tracheostomy tube.
"Who knew someone so tiny could change so many people's lives in such a short time? Our perfect miracle baby," McGlathery wrote on her Facebook page.
McGlathery also shared one of the first emotional moments she got to share with Eli while he was still in the neonatal intensive-care unit, the first time she had him to herself for more than 15 minutes since he'd been born.
"We sat and rocked for two hours until my baby fell asleep," she wrote.
"The nurses told me that was the deepest sleep they've seen him in since he arrived in NICU and that he was so calm when I was around."
"That made my heart melt all over. I've been so worried that he'd get more used to the nurses than he did me."
And McGlathery has also shared concerns of what Eli will have to experience as he grows up, and whether children and the world will be cruel to him.
"My biggest fear for Eli is that the world won't see him as the beautiful, brave little boy that I see him as."
But no matter what Eli will always have his mother, who calls him "the most beautiful boy I've ever laid eyes on".
- Daily Mail