Eli Thompson, the boy born without a nose, dies aged 2

Eli Thompson with his dad Jeremy Finch congenital arhinia facebook
Eli Thompson with his dad Jeremy Finch. Photo credit: Facebook

A US boy who caught worldwide media attention for being born without a nose has died just months after his second birthday.

Eli Thompson was born with the rare condition congenital arhinia meaning there's no external nose or nasal cavity. He turned two on March 4 this year.

There are only around 30 documented cases and it occurs in only 1 in 197 million births.

On Sunday, Eli's dad Jeremy Finch, from Alabama posted a tribute message to "our little buddy" on Facebook following the death.

"I'll never be able to make sense of why this happened, and this will hurt deeply for a long time.

"But I'm so blessed to have had this beautiful boy in my life!" he wrote.

In an interview with AL.com, which had been documenting Eli's life, Mr Finch said his son was "very, very bright and happy, always smiling and giving everybody fist bumps".

There was no mention of what caused Eli's death. 

In the months after his birth, a Facebook page was set up to share Eli's story, including learning his favourite sign language word 'cookie'.

The first thing he reportedly asked for each morning was a cookie.