A family says that Facebook recently banned one of their photos and declared that the picture of an infant is too controversial for their social media site.
Eli, the infant son of Brandi McGlathery and Troy Thompson, has no external nose, nasal cavity, or a sense of smell through the olfactory system, reports Health.com. He is one of just 41 reported cases around the world to be born with a rare condition called congenital arhinia, a one-in-197 million occurrence.
“I think the only thoughts I really had was, ok, you have to. There was never a, oh this is going to be hard. I mean I have moments like that during the day, but you have to do it,” Brandi McGlathery told WKRG.
“I posted the status with a link about it saying no one's going to keep me from posting photos of my child," McGlathery said after Facebook removed the photo from a pro-life group's page for being too "controversial" and "shocking," WKRG reports.
"If I can see completely distasteful things on Facebook all day long, then I can post a picture of my son," McGlathery added.
McGlathery's story was reportedly shared 30,000 times in six hours, and Facebook received enough complaints about the picture's removal that they lifted the ban.
That hasn't stopped some that oppose McGlathery's decision to keep her son, however. McGlathery reportedly received messages asking why they did not elect to have an abortion or choose to put the child up for adoption.
“That took a lot of maturity to not respond the way that the mom in me wanted to!” McGlathery said.
The family is worried about their medical expenses down the road as “this condition is so rare, they don’t know what treatments work and they are skeptical of reconstruction surgery because it’s ‘cosmetic,’” McGlathery explained.
The child was given a tracheotomy by doctors at the USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital in Mobile, Alabama, shortly after being delivered.
A GoFund Me account has already raised nearly $40,000 to cover potential surgeries and medical costs that the family is expected to have in the future.
“I just hope that he's happy either way, whether he decides, you know, when the times comes that he does want a nose or not, I just want him to be happy and to be happy with himself,” McGlathery said.
The family isn’t convinced that surgery is the best option. As Eli grows older, the doctors will have to repeatedly adjust his nose and the thought of multiple surgeries is expensive and stressful.
“Troy says all the time, ‘I think it gives him character,’” McGlathery told Today.com. “We think he is perfect as is."
Eli’s Go Fund Me page can be visited by clicking here.
Photo Source: Facebook/Eli's Story