Alabama boy born at 21 weeks named most premature infant to survive

An Alabama boy who weighed less than a pound at birth after his mother went into labor at only 21 weeks and one day of gestation has been certified as the world’s most premature baby to survive.

Guinness World Records and UAB Hospital announced Wednesday that Curtis Means, who weighed only 14.8 ounces at birth, set the new record. Born 132 days premature on July 5, 2020, with a twin who didn’t survive, Curtis is now healthy and 16 months old.

Dr. Brian Sims was Curtis’ attending physician. According to statistics, children so young are almost certain death. But Curtis beat all odds.

We typically recommend compassionate care for such preterm babies,” Sims stated in a statement by the University of Alabama at Birmingham. This allows parents to spend as much time with their baby as possible and preserves any precious moments they have. “

Instead, Curtis grew stronger and stronger and was discharged after 275 days in the hospital. To eat and use his mouth again, he needed assistance from the therapists.

Premature Baby World Record
This photo from the University of Alabama at Birmingham shows Michelle Butler of Eutaw, Alabama, and her son Curtis Means. Andrea Mabry / AP

“Being able to finally take Curtis home and surprise my older children with their younger brother is a moment I will always remember,” mother Michelle Butler of rural Eutaw, Alabama, said in a statement.

A fetus is considered full term at 40 weeks, but Butler went into labor after carrying twins just over half that length of time. C’Asya and Curtis were born at UAB Hospital.

C’Asya passed away a few days later. However, Curtis survived and was placed on a ventilator for three months. After months of continuous care, Curtis was able to return home in April.

Although Curtis is still in need of a feeding tube, and additional oxygen due to his premature birth, Sims stated that he is healthy considering the age.

” We don’t know the future for Curtis because there are no other like him,” Sims stated. Sims said that Curtis began writing his story from the moment he was born. This story will be studied and read by many people and will hopefully improve the care for premature babies around the globe. “

Guinness said Curtis beat by a day the previous record, which held for only a month. Richard Hutchinson, from Wisconsin, was born at a gestational age of 21 weeks, 2 days in June 2020.

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