"World's most premature baby" given 0% chance of survival celebrates first birthday 3 months ago

"World's most premature baby" given 0% chance of survival celebrates first birthday

Just your good news dosage for the day.

The "world's most premature baby" who was given a 0% chance of survival has celebrated his first birthday.

Weighing just 340g (11.9 oz or 0.7 pounds) and measuring just 26cm at birth, Richard Scott William Hutchinson arrived to the world several months premature and so small that he could fit in one of the palms of his parents' hands.

His prognosis was not good, and after he was transferred to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Children’s Minnesota hospital in Minneapolis, doctors intended to prepare parents Rick and Beth for the worst.

"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," neonatologist Dr Stacy Kern told the Guinness Book of World Records. 

"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."

Born at a gestation of 21 weeks and 2 days - and 131 days premature - baby Richard has become the "world's most premature baby" to ever survive past his first birthday. He celebrated this milestone earlier this week on June 5, a feat that mum Beth still said "doesn't feel real."

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"We’re still surprised about it," she said. "But we’re happy. It’s a way we can share his story to raise awareness about premature births."

Dr Kern added that given Richard's expected prognosis, it was likely the love and support of his parents that enabled him to grow and survive past his first birthday.

"It takes a village to care for and support these babies until the time they are ready to go home," she said. "Rick and Beth fought for Richard day after day and never stopped advocating for their baby through it all.

"Their strength and ability to stay positive and hopeful even during the most stressful and difficult times was inspiring."

Richard is not the only baby born so premature and to survive against the odds. The title was previously held by James Elgin Gill, who was born in Canada in 1987, at just 21 weeks and 5 days - 128 days premature. He was last known to have attended college in 2006.