Kids are a constant reminder that nothing is impossible. They show us that we’re more capable than we ever anticipated, and they constantly defy our expectations in (usually) the best possible way. Last year, Richard Scott William Hutchinson’s family feared they’d never get to watch him grow into a little boy who was self-assured enough to push his limits. They feared they’d never watch him grow into a little boy at all because Richard was given a zero percent chance of survival when he was born four months premature.
Richard’s birth was far from the celebratory day most parents anticipate. When he entered the world on June 5, 2020, Richard weighed a feather-light 11.9 oz. Essentially, Richard weighed the same as two average-sized apples. He was rushed to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Children’s Minnesota hospital in Minneapolis, and though they remained hopeful, doctors prepared his parents for the highly likely tragedy that would follow.
No baby as premature as Richard had ever survived, but his parents, Rick and Beth, did their best to ignore the harsh reality of their situation. Medical complications rushed Richard into the world before he was fully developed, and with bated breath, his parents hoped and prayed that a medical miracle would save him.
“I knew the first few weeks of Richard’s life would be very difficult, but I felt that if he could make it through that, he would be a survivor,” Richard’s neonatologist, Dr Stacy Kern told Guinness.
Day after day, Richard’s parents continued to hope. And day after day, as Richard continued to fight for his life, maintaining their optimism felt easier. Incredibly, six months ago, Richard was discharged from the NICU. On June 5, 2021, “miracle baby” Richard celebrated his first birthday – a birthday that landed him a Guinness World Record. Richard Scott William Hutchinson is officially the most premature baby to survive.
“We made sure we were there to give him support,” Rick said. “I think that helped him get through this because he knew he could count on us.”
Richard’s will to survive gave his parents faith in the seemingly impossible. They stress the importance of advocating for your children, because had they listened to some of the doctors they encountered, they may have given up hope. Richard’s incredible story is an inspiration to parents of premature babies around the world, as well as an inspiration to doctors.
“He taught me what it truly means to be resilient,” Dr. Kern reflected, “and, every time I look at him, I’m reminded how strong and amazing all these little beautiful babies are!”