And that's exactly what one Alabama family is doing 16 months after little Curtis Means entered the world at just 14.8 ounces on July 5, 2020. His mother, Michelle Butler, delivered Curtis and his twin sister, C'Asya, at just 21 weeks and one day gestation. Tragically, Curtis was the only surviving twin. C'Asya died one day after birth.
After being born 132 days premature, Curtis remained on a ventilator for three months and continued receiving round-the-clock care and therapy for 275 days in the hospital. Curtis was discharged in April 2021.
“Being able to finally take Curtis home and surprise my older children with their younger brother is a moment I will always remember,” Butler said in a statement, per NBC News.
Curtis's attending physician, Dr. Brian Sims, says that babies born as young as Curtis have "virtually no chance of survival," which makes it all the more amazing that little Curtis persevered.
“We typically advise for compassionate care in situations of such extremely preterm births," Sims said in a statement from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). "This allows the parents to hold their babies and cherish what little time they may have together.”
Curtis Means weighed less than a pound at birth after his mother went into labor at only 21 weeks and 1 day of gestation. Kids born that young have virtually have no chance at survival— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) November 10, 2021
Today, he was certified as the world’s most premature baby to survive https://t.co/PFdEraoxBq
Curtis is the world's most premature baby to survive, according to Guinness World Records and UAB hospital. The title was previously held by Richard Hutchinson from Wisconsin, who was born at the gestational age of 21 weeks and two days back in June 2020.
“We do not know what all the future will hold for Curtis since there is no one else like him," Sims said. "He started writing his own story the day he was born. That story will be read and studied by many and, hopefully, will help improve care of premature infants around the world.”