Brandi McGlathery had a seemingly normal fourth pregnancy before delivering her new baby last month, but when she saw her son for the first time she noticed something a little different about him — he doesn’t have a nose. Though cases of babies being born with no nose but no other health issues are very rare, baby Eli Thompson has been cleared to go home.
Nearly a month after his March 4 birth, baby Eli has been found healthy enough to go home with his family, ABC News reports.
McGlathery’s obstetrician, Dr. R. Craig Brown, says that he’s never seen a case of a noseless baby with no other health issues before and found that there are only 38 documented cases of it. Other facial abnormalities like cleft lip and cleft palate are much more common and can come with a host of other health issues.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are an estimated 2,650 babies born with a cleft palate and 4,440 babies born with a cleft lip in the United States each year. Surgery to repair a cleft lip or cleft palate is usually performed in the first few months, and is recommended before the child is 18 months old.
“The day I delivered, everything went fine,” mom Brandi McGlathery told ABC News today. “At 4:42 when he was born, he came out and the doctor put him on my chest. When I took a closer look at him, I said, ‘He doesn’t have a nose,’ and they took him out of the room.”
The doctors found that baby Eli does have a nasal bone, but no nose actually formed over it. Since his breathing can be hindered by the lack of a nose, he uses a tracheotomy. Additionally, the Examiner reports that his family has been trained to use all of the associated equipment and to do CPR.
Mom Brandi says that baby Eli is a miracle, and not just for his abnormality.
“He’s an extremely happy baby and does cute stuff all the time,” she said. “There’s a reason aside from his health issue and not having a nose as to why we call him our miracle baby. He just tugs on people’s heart strings. It’s his demeanor.”