Alabama baby is the world’s most premature baby to survive

Michelle ‘Chelly’ Butler and her son, Curtis Means

A US baby boy born 19-weeks premature has been certified as the world’s most premature baby to survive.

Curtis Means was born last year in Birmingham, Alabama, and weighed just 420g (14.8 ounces) — the same as a soccer ball.  But now, according to the Guinness World Records, he’s thriving at 16 months old. 

According to the report, at the onset, Means’ mom Michelle “Chelly” Butler’s seemed to have a normal pregnancy. But on July 4 2020, she had to be rushed to hospital for emergency surgery. She was transferred from her local hospital to the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) where her son was delivered at a gestational age of 21 weeks and one day. A full-term pregnancy is usually 40 weeks. 

“The medical staff told me that they don’t normally keep babies at that age,” Butler told the outlet. “It was very stressful.” Curtis Means was one of a pair of twin, however, his sister, also delivered at 21 weeks and one day, died a day after being delivered.

Curtis Means as a newborn

After spending almost nine months being looked after at the Regional Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (RNICU) it was determined that he was fit enough to go home ) on April 6,2021.

“I’m very proud of him because where he came from and where he is now, I can tell the difference,” Butler said. “Having this record is a blessing that he has accomplished and I’m thankful that [Guinness World Records] accepted him.”

The record was previously held by Richard Hutchinson from Wisconsin, who was born at a gestational age of 21 weeks two days.