The fact that little Richard can reach into the first birthday cake of his life with his patchy hands is like a medical miracle.
Because Richard’s life should have been much shorter, according to his doctors: He was born in June 2020 – five months early and in the middle of the corona pandemic. According to “Guinnes World Records”, he is the earliest premature baby in the world and weighed only 337 grams after delivery. The tiny man was so small that his parents Rick and Beth Hutchinson could hold him in the palm of their hand.
“Doctors told Rick and Beth that a baby born this prematurely has a zero percent chance of survival,” said Dr. Stacy Kern from the Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis (US state Minnesota) to “Guinness World Records”.
But Rick and Beth were not deterred by the shock prognosis. Because of the corona pandemic, the two were not allowed to stay overnight with Richard in the clinic. So they drove the 100-kilometer distance between their home in St. Croix County, Wisconsin, and the Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis, every day for weeks.
“We made sure we were there to give him support,” Papa Rick told Guinness World Records. “I think knowing that he can count on us helped him persevere.”
And indeed: through Dr. Stacy Kern’s medical care and the devotion of his parents, Richard is fit enough at Christmas to finally leave the premature infant intensive care unit and drive home with mom and dad. He spends Christmas Eve in his father’s arms.
Dr. Stacey Kern: “The day Richard was released from intensive care was such a special day. I remember lifting him out of the crib with tears in my eyes. I couldn’t believe that this was the same little boy who was once so sick that I was afraid he wouldn’t survive. The boy I could hold in one hand and whose skin was so thin that I could see every rib and blood vessel. “