A baby boy born under 1 pound at 21 weeks has just celebrated his first birthday.
According to Guinness World Records, he is the most premature baby in the world to survive.
Richard Scott William Hutchinson was born at a gestational age of 21 weeks 2 days, making him 131 days premature. The standard gestational period for a baby is 40 weeks.
He was born on June 5, 2020 at the Children’s Minnesota hospital in Minneapolis after his mother, Beth Hutchinson, suffered medical complications that caused her to go into labor.
Weighing just 11.9 ounces (0.74 lbs), the initial prognosis for Richard was far from optimistic.
“When Rick and Beth received prenatal counselling on what to expect with a baby born so early, they were given a 0% chance of survival by our neonatology team,” said Richard’s neonatologist at Children’s Minnesota, Dr Stacy Kern.
In December 2020, after more than half a year at the NICU, he was given the all-clear to leave the hospital and head home.
“The day Richard was discharged from the NICU was such a special day. I remember picking him up out of his crib and just holding him with tears in my eyes,” Kern said.
“I couldn’t believe this was the same little boy that once was so sick, that I feared he may not survive. The same little boy that once fit in the palm of my hand, with skin so translucent that I could see every rib and vessel in his tiny body. I couldn’t help but squeeze him and tell him how proud I was of him.
“He taught me what it truly means to be resilient and, every time I look at him, I’m reminded how strong and amazing all these little beautiful babies are!”
On June 5, 2021, Richard celebrated his first birthday – a landmark for any child, but none more so than for “miracle baby”.
“It doesn’t feel real,” Beth said about Richard breaking the record.
“We’re still surprised about it. But we’re happy. It’s a way we can share his story to raise awareness about premature births.”