The world's most premature baby, who was born weighing less than a pound, just celebrated his first birthday. Richard Scott William Hutchinson was so small that his parents could hold him in a single palm of their hands.
When Rick Hutchinson and Beth Hutchinson from the United States welcomed their son into the world on June 5 last year, he only weighed 340 g (11.9 oz), which is about the same as one-tenth of the average weight for a full-term newborn. His weight could be likened to a can of soup.
Beating 0% Chance of Survival
The first prognosis for Hutchinson was pessimistic. When the baby was prematurely born, he was transferred to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Minneapolis' Children's Minnesota hospital. This was where doctors prepared the couple for the worst news. Hutchinson was given a 0% chance of survival.
According to Dr. Stacy Kern, Hutchinson's neonatologist, addressing the Guinness Book of World Records, "When Rick and Beth received prenatal counseling on what to expect with a baby born so early, they were given a 0% chance of survival by our neonatology team. I knew the first few weeks of Richard's life would be very difficult, but I felt that if he could make it through that, he would be a survivor," reported Daily News.
He was born five months early; this was due to the medical complications that his mother Beth experienced. He was born 131 days before his slated due date, reported Mirror.
Despite being told about a slim chance of their baby's survival, the parents never lost faith. Now, their baby is an active and thriving little boy.
The Guinness Book of World Records acknowledged this "miracle baby" surpassed the 35-year record held by James Elgin Gill and another more recent tie to the said record. According to Guinness, the last baby who held the record was Gill, born in Canada at 21 weeks and 5 days or 128 days premature in May 1987. One German baby born in 2010 at the same gestational age also held the record.
Following his birth in 2020, the newest record-holder spent six months hospitalized as his parents traveled back and forth from their house in Wisconsin, across state lines in order to visit him.
They were not allowed to visit their baby in the neo-natal ward of the hospital because of the COVID-19 pandemic. They had to make the hour-long, interstate journey every single day to check on their little one.
In December 2020, Hutchinson was allowed to go home. His father did not mind the constant travel, however. He believes that helped him to overcome their obstacle because he knew that their baby could count on them.
Kern said that the day Hutchinson was discharged from the NICU was a remarkable day. She remembers picking him up out of his crib and carrying him while crying, reported CNN.
The baby boy was born at a gestational age of 21 weeks 2 days. Forty weeks is the standard gestational period for a baby.
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