01/04/2015 09:00 BST | Updated 01/06/2015 06:12 BST

Baby Born With No Nose

Associated Press

A baby has been born without a nose – one of just 37 in the world.

Timothy Eli Thompson has a rare facial anomaly called complete congenital arhinia.

He had to have a tracheotomy when he was just five days old because has no nasal passage and will have to have a nose built.

His mum Brandi McGlathery was expecting 'a perfectly healthy baby boy' before he was born on March 4.

The 23-year-old, from Summerdale, Alabama, told that she saw her son for the first time when doctors cut the umbilical cord.

She said: "I pulled back and said, 'Something's wrong!' And the doctor said, 'No, he's perfectly fine.' Then I shouted, 'He doesn't have a nose!'"

But she said that not having a nose 'didn't faze him at all'.

Eli was taken to USA Children's and Women's Hospital in Mobile and Brandi went the next day to be with her baby.

In addition to missing an external nose, Eli was born without a nasal cavity or olfactory system. Brandi has heard him sneeze, though.

She said: "The first time he did it, we looked at each other and said, 'You heard that, right?'"

Brandi and Eli's dad Troy plan to wait for their son to have facial surgeries until he's older. Because his palate did not fully form, his brain is lower. Plus, his condition affects his pituitary gland, meaning he'll have to be past puberty before his nasal passageways can be built.

Brandi said: "We're going to do our best to make sure he's happy.

"The rest of him is so cute, sometimes you don't realise he doesn't have a nose."

You can follow 'Eli's journey' on Brandi's Facebook page.