Beth and Rick Hutchinson of St Croix County, Wisconsin, were told their baby delivered at 21 weeks had little chance of survival, yet the kid celebrated his first birthday last week—a miracle by any definition. Richard Scott William Hutchinson, one year old, has not only outperformed his doctor’s predictions, but has also just been admitted into the Guinness World Records for being the World’s Most Premature Baby.
Richard was born on June 5, 2020, weighing barely 11.9 oz. According to Guinness World Records, Richard was born 131 days early, barely the size of a soup can, roughly one-tenth the size of a full-term infant. His mother was meant to give birth on October 13, 2020, yet due to medical problems, she gave birth approximately four months earlier.
It was a difficult choice, yet her physicians eventually chose to deliver Richard and do everything they could to keep him alive.
When Rick and Beth got prenatal counseling on what to anticipate with a baby delivered so early, their neonatology team gave them a 0% chance of survival, said Dr. Stacy Kern, the neonatologist at Children’s Minnesota who treated the newborn.
Dr. Stacy knew the first few weeks of Richard’s existence would be challenging, but she knew if he could get through them, he’d be a survivor.
Richard was transported to the newborn critical care unit at the hospital.
Unfortunately, the baby would miss out on many firsts while in the hospital, including the Fourth of July and his first Halloween. The epidemic made it difficult for Richard’s parents to spend the night with him in the hospital. Rather, they traveled from Wisconsin to Minnesota on a regular basis to see their son.
They made certain that they were there to support him, Rick, his father, said. He believes it helped him get through it as he realized he could rely on them.
Richard is not the first preemie to be recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records.
James Elgin Gill was born 128 days preterm to parents Brenda and James Gill in Ottawa, Canada in 1987. Yvonne and John Mangold’s daughter Frieda Mangold was born at the same age in 2010.
The Hutchinsons are still surprised to be in such good company, and the distinction is another reason to cherish their miraculous boy.
They’re still stunned, according to Beth. But they’re content. It’s a chance for them to spread the word about his experience and raise awareness about preterm deliveries.
Richard was discharged from the hospital and sent home at the age of six months.
It was a difficult day for the family — and for his doctor.
Kern expressed that she remembered lifting him up from his crib and just hugging him with tears in her eyes.
She continued that she couldn’t believe this was the same young baby who had been so ill that she was afraid he wouldn’t live. The same small kid who used to fit in the palm of her hand, with skin so transparent that she could see every rib and artery in his tiny body. She couldn’t help but squeeze him and express her admiration for him.
She attributes his remarkable survival to his lovely parents, who were there for him every step of the way, as well as to the whole neonatology staff at Children’s Minnesota, Kerm concluded. It takes a community to care for and support these infants until they are old enough to return home.
The pair has set up a GoFundMe page to gather funds for Richard’s medical bills, and his medical journey is far from complete.
Richard will still require regular checks and will require “a pulse oximeter equipment and a pump for his feeding tube,” according to his mother. They are working on weaning him off all of them, but it takes time. He’s come a long way and is doing very well, she continued. The mother also advised other parents of ill or premature newborns to do all they could to advocate for their children.
Despite the fact that Kern has probably seen more miraculous births than you or I can conceive, it’s apparent that Richard’s delivery made a mark on her.
She said that Richard is the youngest infant she has ever had the privilege of caring for. She considers herself very fortunate and honored to have been the neonatologist on call the week Richard was born. She can’t express how fantastic it feels to be a part of his remarkable tale.
She believes Richard’s story has encouraged many individuals all across the globe, and she believes they will all continue to learn from him. She thanked Richard, Beth, and Rick for everything that they have taught them. They’re excited to see what the future holds for them. They are working on weaning him off all of them, but it takes time. He’s come a long way and is doing very well, she continued.