They are 2 of 47 babies EVER reported with this conditionand they just met.
When Brandi McGlathery gave birth to her son, the doctors told her she had a 1 in 197 million chance of having a baby with his condition.
She shouldve bought a lottery ticket with that kind of luck, but shes glad she got Eli instead.
Eli has congenital arhinia, an incredibly rare condition that has only been reported in 46 other people in history, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Doctors didnt even know what to do when they saw the newborn without a nose or any exposed breathing canal, so they immediately rushed him to ahospital an hour from where he was delivered in Foley, Alabama.
Some may argue it was a bad thing, but when you look in those beautiful baby blues, you cant help but fall for this lil Romeo just the way his proud mama did.
However, she was terrified when he was pried from her arms as soon as the doctors saw the severity of his condition. Brandi didnt know if Eli would live or die as he was whisked away.
That entire night, I was confused, she confessed on her GoFundMe page. I called every 15 minutes to ask if my child was still alive.
Doctors soon realized the main problem associated with Elis condition: he wouldnt be able to breathe and eat at the same time. Thus, they soon performed a tracheostomy on the little one in order to make a hole in his windpipe to facilitate breathing.
Unfortunately, there were many more surgeries to go.
He was in the neo-natal intensive-care unit for several weeks and had to make manyreturn visits due to complications.
His mother said the doctors relayed that as Eli continues to grow, hell have to undergo surgery every year or two until he hits puberty.
Butthats when something extraordinary happened.
Eli met a little girl just like him, and it changed the game.
It turns out that a 2-year-old named Tessa was born in Ireland with the same condition. What are the chances that 2 of 47 cases EVER reported could coexist?
Only God can attest to those kind of odds.
Thats when we lay to rest the word probability for a more accurate one: miracle.
Tessa was the first baby ever to undergo the surgery that would give her a new nose, where there once was none.
The progressive surgery is designed to stretch her skin over time to eventually fit a prosthesis where her nose should have grown. It will need to be replaced several times over the years as her face grows, but the ultimate outcome is incredibly optimistic.
Upon the discovery of Tessas brand new procedure, Eli was approved for the exact same one in September of 2015.
“After a lengthy conversation, many tears, thanks, & hallelujahs, we FINALLY have a game plan set in place for Eli,” McGlathery said.“In January, just 2 months shy of Eli’s first birthday (yes, our baby is already almost 7 months old!), we will travel to London for our first assessment.”
Then came miracle #2.
The two rarest humans on the planet were able to meet face-to-face, per an equally improbable sequence of events.
Just a fewweeks ago, Elis grandparents had planned a trip out to Atlanta to visit some of their relatives. Not long after, Tessas dad won a trip to the same city.
Seriously? Were not even bringing in the mathematicians for those odds.
“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,” said Tessa’s motherGrinne Evans.”Tessa was totally taken with Eli and hugged him and stroked his head. Watching Eli gaze up at her was too precious for words.
The two bonded in a way that transcends words. Even as little tykes, there was something in their eyes that said they knew they were at home with one another. What a precious moment when two of the most unique babies ever born bond over the deep-seated understandingthat they are so drastically different in the exact same way.
Together, they were 2 in 394 millionand deep down, they knew it. ‘Twas baby love at first sight.
For the McGlathery family, it was equally therapeutic.
I will never be able to thank you for everything you have done & shared with us since Eli was born, said Brandi. “I felt so alone at first, & you made sure I knew that I was anything but!”
Most importantly, Eli and Tessa know theyre not alone. They are the bravest of babies entering a series of surgeries that one day promise them the hope of a normal life.
It may be a long, painful processbut one day theyll truly smell the victory of a battle worth fighting and lives worth inspiring with their mighty story.