Premature Baby Celebrates First Birthday

Baby Richard in the Minneapolis NICU. Source: National Catholic Register

Richard Scott William Hutchinson was born June 6, 2020 to Beth and Rick Hutchinson after only 20 weeks of gestation. Told by doctors their son had 0% chance of survival, Baby Richard’s first birthday was all the more reason for his family and community to celebrate.

Born just 11 ounces, Richard is the smallest, most premature baby on record according to the Guinness Book of World Records. Fighting for his life over the past year in the Minneapolis NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit), Baby Richard’s father, Rick Hutchinson, described his son’s birthday as truly the culmination of a miracle.

He said, “When Richard was born, they told us he had a 0% chance of survival, and they asked us if we wanted to hold him before he passed away; and after consulting with the neonatologist department there, they agreed to give him a chance — and look!”

Now a year later, Richard is a 16 pounds and the youngest person ever born to survive. Describing watching Richard grow up, his mother Beth said, “He likes to babble a lot. He’s trying to crawl” and overcoming the daily milestones.

One of those milestones was in May of this year, when Baby Richard was introduced to some solid foods as a part of his diet.

“I think the future looks bright for him, and whatever he decides to do, he’ll make a big mark,” Rick Hutchinson said as he marked his first Father’s Day, two weeks after Baby Richard turned 1-year-old.

Inspired by their experience of God’s grace and a loving church community, the Hutchinsons are in the process of starting a non-profit to support families in similar situations.

Additionally, Baby Richard’s story inspired the leadership of the hospital in Minneapolis to announced that The Mother Baby Center, a partnership between Allina Health and Children’s Minnesota, will be expanding its Neonatal Intensive Care Unit services at the Mercy Hospital located in Coon Rapids, Minnesota to improve access to neonatal care experts servicing rural areas.

Happy birthday, Baby Richard! You’re leaving quite the mark already.

Source: National Catholic Register