A baby who was born almost 19 weeks premature has defied all odds to become the world's most premature baby to survive.
Michelle Butler had a seemingly normal twin pregnancy in 2020, but suddenly on the 4th of July, she had to be rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery. From her local hospital she was transferred to the University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital which is known for its neonatology and pediatric departments.
There, Michelle gave birth to Curtis Zy-Keith Means at a gestational age of 21 weeks, 1 day on July 5th. His original due date was November 11th, meaning he was born 132 days or 19 weeks premature. Curtis weighed only 14.8 oz. His chances of survival were slim with some saying he had a less than 1% chance of making it.
Miraculously, Curtis responded incredibly well to treatment in the NICU and his development was remarkable to watch. However, it was not an easy journey. C'Aysa Means, Curtis' twin sister was also delivered the same day. But she was reportedly less developed than him and tragically passed away just one day after being born.
Curtis required around-the-clock treatment and care for nearly 9 months. After 275 days in the hospital, the medical team deemed that Curtis was health enough to go home. He finally left the hospital on April 6, 2021.
Curtis still faces some challenges and needs medication, oxygen and a feeding tube, but given the circumstances, his family is blessed he is otherwise healthy.
When Curtis celebrated his first birthday on July 5, 2021, he was qualified to be the most premature baby to ever survive. He has three older siblings who now also help take care of him now that he's at home.
"He's very active! I'm tired already. I'm very proud of him because where he came from and where he's at now. I can tell the difference," Michelle said.
Source: Guinness World Records