Miracle Baby Born A Record-Breaking 131 Days Premature Celebrates His First Birthday

·5-min read

When Beth and Rick Hutchinson first realised they were going to be parents, little did they know it would be a long, uphill battle to conserve the life of their firstborn.

You see, little Richard came into this world on June 5, 2020, albeit a lot earlier than he was supposed to.

Premature Baby Sets World Record: Born Months Before Due Date

premature baby health issues
premature baby health issues

Image Source: Beck and Rick Hutchinson via Guinness World Records

Just how early you ask? He was born 131 days premature setting a new world record, the Guinness World Records said in a statement. The baby was just about 26 cm tall and could fit in the palm of your hand. His skin was translucent for you to see his ribs and veins.

The odds were stacked against the Richard with doctors giving the baby a zero per cent survival chance.

However, a year down the line, the little fighter celebrated his first birthday recently in what can only be termed as a medical miracle. Previously, the record stood at 128 days for a premature delivery with a gestational of 21 weeks and five days. It was held for three decades by James Elgin Gill born to Brenda and James Gill in Canada on May 20, 1987.

But Richard did come with his own set of premature baby health issues that made his survival all the more difficult.

Complications Led To A Premature Delivery

The US-based mum, Beth Hutchinson, was originally due to deliver the baby on October 13, 2020. However, she experienced medical complications and unexpectedly went into labour about months earlier than scheduled. While doctors agreed to deliver the baby, it was uncertain if he would survive.

Weighing just 340 gm, or one-tenth of the average weight of a full-term newborn, it was the sheer resilience of the baby that helped him pull through. The doctors weren’t too optimistic of his survival either after the initial prognosis. It only seemed fair to prepare the parents for the and news.

However, the baby would go on to defy all of that. Over the next couple of months, little Richard stayed at the hospital under the care of Dr Stacy Kern, a neonatologist at Children’s Minnesota hospital in Minneapolis. His parents would visit him every day as the Covid restrictions made staying at the hospital not possible.

“We made sure we were there to give him support,” said Rick, “I think that helped him get through this because he knew he could count on us.”

Baby Had To Stay Six Months In The Hospital

premature baby health issues
premature baby health issues

Image Source: Beck and Rick Hutchinson via Guinness World Records

Finally, in December 2020, Richard was discharged from the hospital and healthy enough to go home with his parents.

Having spent months with the hospital staff, it was indeed a special moment for the team of caregivers to let the little boy out the door into the world.

Sharing her views on Richard’s miracle survival, Dr 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.”

The Guinness World Records now officially recognises Richard as the most premature baby to survive. The little one still requires oxygen, a pulse oximeter machine and a pump for his feeding tube.

The parents say, “We are working on getting him off all of them, but it takes time. He has come a long way and is doing amazing.”

5 Premature Baby Health Issues You Need To Know About

premature baby health issues
premature baby health issues

Image Source: Beck and Rick Hutchinson via Guinness World Records

Premature baby health issues are only natural and happen because the immune system is not fully developed. Here are some of the common health issues that premature babies face:

1. Anaemia

This happens when the baby does not get enough healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen to the rest of the body. Anaemia can lower the oxygen and glucose levels in the baby’s blood further adding stress on the organs.

2. Breathing problems

Premature babies can develop breathing issues like sleep apnea wherein they stop breathing for 15 to 20 seconds or more. They can also have bronchopulmonary dysplasia that affects the lungs and requires a breathing machine.

Premature babies can also get respiratory distress syndrome where the child’s lungs do not make enough surfactant that helps keep the air sacs in the lungs from collapsing.

3. Infections

Premature babies are more prone to infections because of their weak immune system. Sepsis is common in babies born preterm and can be life-threatening.

4. Newborn jaundice

Here’s when the baby’s skin and sclera (the white outer layer of the eyeball) turn yellow. It’s caused by the build-up of bilirubin in the baby’s blood and is a sign of the liver being under-developed or isn’t working well.

5. Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC)

Although common, NEC is serious and can affect the baby’s intestines. NEC occurs when the tissue of the intestine is injured or begins to die.

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Study: Babies Born Prematurely Can Grow Up Without Major Illnesses

The post Miracle Baby Born A Record-Breaking 131 Days Premature Celebrates His First Birthday appeared first on theAsianparent - Your Guide to Pregnancy, Baby & Raising Kids.

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