A U.S. baby born at 21 weeks and two days has set the Guinness World Record for being the most premature baby to survive in an amazing story that is being celebrated by the pro-life community.
Richard Scott William Hutchinson celebrated his first birthday this month, allowing Guinness to recognize him as the newest holder of a record set in 1987. Hutchinson was born at Children's Minnesota hospital at a gestational age of 21 weeks, two days, making him 131 days premature, according to Guinness. The standard gestational period is 40 weeks.
Born four months premature, he weighed 11.9 ounces at birth.
The previous record was 21 weeks, five days, or 128 days premature, held by a Canadian baby, James Elgin Gill, born in 1987.
Hutchinson's birthday was June 5. His parents are Rick and Beth Hutchinson of St. Croix County, Wis.
"We're still surprised about it," Beth told Guinness. "But we're happy. It's a way we can share his story to raise awareness about premature births."
Stacy Kern, a neonatologist at Children's Minnesota, said Richard was "given a 0 percent chance of survival by our neonatology team."
Richard was called the "miracle baby" by staff.
"The first month they weren't even sure he was going to make it," Beth said. "It was really hard. You know in the back of your mind that his odds weren't great."
Richard's survival is being celebrated by the pro-life community.
"Doctors gave him 0% chance of survival," March for Life said in a tweet. "However, Richard is a fighter who just celebrated his 1st birthday. With proper care and support, premature babies can not only survive but thrive!"
Baby Richard was born 5 months prematurely weighing only 11.9 oz. Doctors gave him 0% chance of survival.— March for Life (@March_for_Life) June 21, 2021
However, Richard is a fighter who just celebrated his 1st birthday.
With proper care and support, premature babies can not only survive but thrive!https://t.co/HajvTJj2Q9
The pro-life organization Susan B. Anthony List tweeted, "Happy Birthday Richard!"
Richard Hutchinson, who holds the Guinness World Record as the most premature baby to survive (born 131 days before his due date & weighing just 11.9 oz), celebrated his 1st birthday on June 5th.— Susan B. Anthony List #HydeSavesLives (@SBAList) June 21, 2021
🎉 Happy Birthday Richard! 🎉https://t.co/qtitExJNhN
Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, said the news should impact the debate over viability in public policy.
"'Viability' is outdated every time you turn around," she tweeted.
Beat 0 % odds: “"We made sure we were there to give him support,” Rick told Guinness World Records. "I think that helped him get through this because he knew he could count on us." Pure Love.— MarjorieDannenfelser (@marjoriesba) June 21, 2021
“Viability” is outdated every time you turn around. https://t.co/2U1pl2d3qz
Photo courtesy: ©Guinness/Beth and Rick Hutchinson
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.