Small yet powerful!
Rick and Beth Hutchinson’s baby child was almost four months preterm, and the chances were stacked against him. Richard was the size of a can of soup when he was born, and he could fit into the palm of his mother’s hand.
Richard was born 131 days early. A 40-week gestational period is considered typical. For his parents, this was exceedingly frightening and distressing.
Doctors had warned Beth and Rick that the worst was yet to come, and optimism felt like a luxury.
He was transferred to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Children’s Minnesota Hospital in Minneapolis, weighing less than a pound, where a team of specialists did everything they could to keep him alive.
“Our neonatology team gave Rick and Beth a 0% chance of survival when they got prenatal education on what to anticipate with a kid born so early,” said Dr. Stacy Kern, Richard’s neonatologist at Children’s Minnesota.
The physicians agreed that, despite his poor start in life, Richard had a shot if he could make it through the first few weeks.
The family had to traverse the COVID-19 protocols at the hospital during those early days of uncertainty and stress. They were not permitted to be with Richard overnight, and they were unable to share the load with other family members.
Every day, the committed parents traveled over the state border from St. Croix to Minneapolis, Minnesota, simply to spend time with Richard.
Despite all of these obstacles, infant Richard was ready to battle.
Richard celebrated his first birthday on June 5, 2021, surrounded by his adoring family. Another fantastic event occurred on his birthday. Richard was named the most preterm infant to survive by Guinness World Records.
When asked how she felt about her kid receiving this honor, Beth said she was startled but delighted. “It’s a way for us to share his experience and bring attention to preterm babies.”
Richard’s tenacity and dedication were praised in front of his family.
Beth and Rick both come from large families, and everyone was there to wish this precious newborn boy a happy birthday.
Richard’s extraordinary survival was due to his parents, who never gave up on him, according to the experts at Children’s Minnesota.
“Throughout it all, Rick and Beth battled for Richard day after day and never stopped pushing for their kid.” Their courage and capacity to remain optimistic and hopeful in the face of adversity and hardship was amazing.” — Dr. Stacy Kern, a neonatologist at Children’s Minnesota.
Beth offers some suggestions for other parents in similar situations.
“Do everything you can to advocate for your child. Because it’s your child, you have a right to know what’s going on.” Beth Hutchinson is a writer who lives in the United States.
Richard was given the all-clear to go home in December 2020 after spending half a year in the NICU.
Richard’s parents and medical team were astounded by what their son had achieved.
“It was such a fantastic day when Richard was discharged from the NICU. Dr. Kern says, “I remember pulling him up out of his cot and simply hugging him with tears in my eyes.”
The Hutchinsons were well aware that the journey would not be easy at initially. When Richard left the hospital, he needed oxygen and a feeding tube. The family is hoping that this is only a blip on the radar.
“Richard is the smallest infant I’ve ever had the privilege of caring for. I consider myself extremely fortunate and privileged to have been the neonatologist on duty the week Richard was born. Being a part of his tremendous journey… I don’t know how to express how incredible it feels.” – Kern, Dr.
“We love the personnel that looked after our baby and wish we could spend all of our time with them.” When he was there, he was dubbed the “wonder baby.” “I concur with them.” Beth Hutchinson is a writer who lives in the United States.