After being born nearly four months early, the world’s most premature baby celebrated his first birthday this June.
Richard Hutchinson was born at five months and weighed less than a pound (11.9 ounces). He was so small that his parents were able to hold him in the palm of their hand. Doctors took action to care for him but calculated that Richard had zero percent chance of living.
Because of the Covid-19 Pandemic Richard’s parents, Rick and Beth, were not allowed to stay at the hospital with him overnight. So Rick and Beth made the hour-long drive from their home in Wisconsin to the hospital in Minneapolis every day for the entirety of Richard’s hospitalization.
“We made sure we were there to give him support,” Rick has said. “I think that helped him get through this because he knew he could count on us.”
Defying zero percent odds, Richard was finally triumphantly released from the hospital to go home with his parents six months after his birth.
“I couldn’t believe this was the same little boy that once was so sick, that I feared he may not survive,” said Dr. Stacy Kern, Richard’s neonatologist. “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 … He taught me what it truly means to be resilient and, every time I look at him, I’m reminded how strong and amazing all these little beautiful babies are!”
Guinness World Records has recognized Richard as the world’s most premature baby to live.
Until the very recent passage of the Texas Heartbeat Act, abortions were legal in Texas all the way to 22 weeks into pregnancy. That is a week after the point Richard was born. Currently multiple states allow abortion well past 22 weeks.
Richard’s beautiful story proves the wonder and value of human Life, even of preborn Life as early as 21 weeks.
His proud parents cherish their son. “He is a very happy baby,” says Beth. “Always has a smile on the adorable little face of his. His bright blue eyes and smile get me every time.”
All human Life is precious no matter what stage.
Richard’s life shows that all Life is worth protecting and cherishing, no matter the odds.