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World’s youngest premature baby defies odds and celebrates first birthday


Guinness World Records/Rick & Beth Hutchinson

Cerith Gardiner - published on 06/25/21

He was given a 0% chance of survival, but baby Richard had other plans.

Just over a year ago, Richard Scott William Hutchinson entered the world a little early. In fact, the tiny tot was born a staggering five months premature and weighed 11.9 ounces.

Richard’s mom, Beth Hutchinson, encountered some medical issues and as a result went into early labor. So the tiny newborn was born 131 days earlier than planned at the Children’s Minnesota hospital in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The little boy was so tiny he could fit into the palm of the hand, according to a report by CNN. Guinness World Records described him as the youngest baby to ever survive being born so prematurely, and doctors were convinced he had a 0% chance of survival.

Thankfully they were wrong!

“When [his father] 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,” explained Richard’s neonatologist at the hospital, Dr. Stacy Kern,to the Guinness World Records.

Baby Richard, however, had other plans. While his parents were unable to stay with him during the night due to COVID, they visited him every day.

“We made sure we were there to give him support. I think that helped him get through this because he knew he could count on us,” shared Richard’s father Rick with GWR.

Having his parents by his side must have had a positive effect on the newborn, as he thrived and was finally released from hospital at the age of six months.

“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,” shared Dr. Kern.

While his first few months were not what his parents had envisioned, their son has already proved just how strong he is. Despite the odds, with wonderful medical care and the love of his family members, Richard is now thriving at home.

Although his parents have been through such emotional turmoil, they want their son’s astonishing birth and development to help other’s appreciate what it means to have a premature baby.

“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,” shared Richard’s mom.

It is difficult to imagine how such a tiny baby was able to celebrate his first birthday on June 5, but it does illustrate just how miraculous birth is, and the importance of giving these tiny preemies the best care possible.

ChildrenHealth and WellnessPregnancy
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