'Miracle Baby' Born 4 Months Premature Sets World Record

(YouTube/Our Lifes Journeys)

Since he weighed just 11.9 ounces at birth, staff at the Children's Minnesota hospital in Minneapolis gave one baby boy a dire survival rate: 0%.

But God had other plans.

Beth and Rick Hutchinson welcomed their son, Richard, into the world June 5, 2020. The only problem? His due date was four months later on Oct. 13, 2020.

"When Rick and Beth received prenatal counselling on what to expect with a baby born so early, they were given a 0% chance of survival by our neonatology team," said Richard's neonatologist at Children's Minnesota, Dr. Stacy Kern.

The Hutchinsons were warned of the fatal complications that could arise when medical complications caused Beth to go into labor when her unborn son was only 21 weeks 2 days along. Standard gestation for a full-term baby is 40 weeks.

Guinness World Records acknowledged the incredible life journey Richard had already experienced at his one-year birthday, naming him the world's most premature baby to survive.

The previous record-holder was born in Canada at 21 weeks and 5 days in 1987, as well as a German native born at the same age in 2010.

"It doesn't feel real," admitted Beth regarding the world record. "We're still surprised about it. But we're happy. It's a way we can share his story to raise awareness about premature births."

The miracle story included numerous trials and trips to the hospital, Beth said.

The Hutchinsons drove from St. Croix County, Wisconsin, to Minneapolis, Minnesota, every day while the Minnesota NICU and hospital operated under COVID-19 regulations that prohibited visitors from staying overnight.

After spending the first six months of his life in the NICU, the "miracle baby" was cleared to go home.

"The day Richard was discharged from the NICU was such a special day," Beth recalled. "I remember picking him up out of his crib and just holding him with tears in my eyes.

"I couldn't believe this was the same little boy that once was so sick, that I feared he may not survive," she said. "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. I couldn't help but squeeze him and tell him how proud I was of him.

"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."

The president of the pro-life advocacy group The Susan B. Anthony List, Marjorie Dannenfelser, posted a "Happy Birthday" tweet for Hutchinson, and commented on the discrepancy in the "viability" debate.

She echoes the sentiments of much of the pro-life community, who both congratulated the Hutchinson family and Richard for the work done to reach this milestone birthday.

The Hutchinsons now use their story to advocate for premature babies and their families around the world.

Beth prays families will learn how to stand up for their child even when the odds seem to be stacked against them.

"Advocate for your child as much as you can. Be nosy because it is your child, and you deserve to know what is going on," she said in the Guinness World Record statement.

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