A 21-week-old newborn boy who weighed less than a pound just celebrated his first birthday.

He is the world’s most preterm infant to live, according to Guinness World Records.

Scott, Richard William Hutchinson was born 131 days early, at a gestational age of 21 weeks and 2 days. A baby’s normal gestational period is 40 weeks.

After his mother, Beth Hutchinson, had medical difficulties that forced her to go into labour, he was born on June 5, 2020 at the Children’s Minnesota hospital in Minneapolis.

Richard’s initial prognosis was not encouraging, as he weighed only 11.9 ounces (0.74 lbs).

“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.

He was given the all-clear to leave the hospital and return home in December 2020, after more than half a year in the NICU.

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

“I couldn’t believe this was the same little boy that once was so sick, that I feared he may not survive. 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!”

Richard turned one on June 5, 2021, a significant milestone for any child, but especially so a “miracle baby.”

“It doesn’t feel real,” Beth said about Richard breaking the 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.”

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