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“Being able to finally take Curtis home and surprise my older children with their younger brother is a moment I will always remember,” his mother said.
Story at a glance
An Alabama boy has been certified as the most premature baby to survive after being born at just 21 weeks and one day on July 5, 2020.
Guinness World Records and UAB Hospital named Curtis Means the world record holder, born 132 days premature and weighing just 14.8 ounces — less than a pound. His twin, C’Aysa, didn’t survive.
“Numbers show that babies born so young have little to no chances of survival,” Brian Sims, professor of pediatrics in the UAB Division of Neonatology, said in a statement. “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.”
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However, after three months on a ventilator, Means continued to grow stronger, and after 275 days in the hospital he was discharged on April 6, 2021.
“Being able to finally take Curtis home and surprise my older children with their younger brother is a moment I will always remember,” his mother Michelle Butler said in a statement. “It was a difficult journey, but I am grateful for the UAB team and their constant support. They took the time to educate me and made sure I knew what was happening every step of the way. They truly cared about my son and me.”
Means still uses supplemental oxygen and a feeding tube but is considered to be in good health given his rocky start. Now a 16-month-old, Means is home with his three elder siblings, who dote on him.
“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.”
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“We are facing a national mental health crisis that could yield serious health and social consequences for years to come.”
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