Alabama Child Breaks Record for Most Premature Infant to Survive

By Christopher Burroughs
Christopher Burroughs
Christopher Burroughs
Christopher Burroughs reports on breaking news for The Epoch Times.
November 11, 2021 Updated: November 11, 2021

An Alabama boy was announced on Wednesday as the world’s most premature infant to survive, according to Guinness World Records.

Curtis Means, now 16 months old, was born nearly 19 weeks early on July 5, 2020, at UAB Hospital at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. His survival after being born at just 132 days is now a world record.

Means was just 14.8 ounces at birth, less than one pound, and did not have a high survival rate.

The newborn’s survival did not come easily. Breathing from a ventilator, young Curtis was not able to go home until April 6, a total of 275 days in the hospital.

“The medical staff told me that they don’t normally keep babies at that age,” mother Michelle “Chelly” Butler told Guinness World Records.

Brian Sims was the attending physician on-call when Butler arrived to give birth.

“Numbers show that babies born so young have little to no chances of survival,” Sims said. “We typically advise for compassionate care in situations of such extremely preterm births. This allows the parents to hold their babies and cherish what little time they may have together.”

Curtis was not alone in his delivery. Also delivered was his twin sister, C’Asya. Sadly, she did not respond to treatment and passed away just one day after her birth.

“He’s very active. I’m tired already!” Chelly told Guinness World Records in the interview.

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

Chelly was less concerned about setting a record as she endured the monthslong battle for her young son’s survival throughout his time at UAB. The family now celebrates Curtis being at home and continuing to develop normally as he marks what would have been his expected first birthday.

Guinness noted the previous record-holder was Richard Hutchinson from Wisconsin, born 131 days premature in 2020. Curtis broke the previous record by a month.

Doctors at the Children’s Minnesota Hospital in Minneapolis tried to prepare the couple for the worst and told them that he had a zero percent chance of survival.

“I was kind of numb because being on all the pain meds and I was trying to keep myself in a positive place,” Beth said.

Nearly 48 hours later, on June 5, 2020, Richard Scott William Hutchinson was born at a gestational age of 21 weeks and two days, making him 131 days premature.

Prior to Hutchinson, the record had been unbroken for 34 years. Canadian-born James Elgin Gill was born 128 days premature in 1987.

SWNS contributed to this report.

Christopher Burroughs reports on breaking news for The Epoch Times.