UAB Hospital delivers most premature baby to survive, according to Guinness World Records (PHOTOS)

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Michelle Butler presented the Guinness World Records Certificate by members of his UAB care team. Photo via UAB

Pop the milk bottles! One year old, Curtis Means has officially been named the world’s most premature infant to survive by Guinness World Records.

132 Days Premature

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“A fighter” Curtis at UAB Hospital. Photo via UAB

Born on July 5, 2020  around 1 p.m. at UAB Hospital, Michelle Butler gave birth to premature twins Curtis and C’Asya. She had gone into labor at only 21 weeks and one day gestation. That’s 132 days premature!

According to UAB News — Brian Sims, M.D., Ph.D., professor of pediatrics in the UAB Division of Neonatology, was the attending physician on-call when Butler arrived.  

“Numbers show that babies born so young have little to no chances of survival,” Sims said in the story. “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.”

With less than a 1 percent chance of survival UAB’s Regional Neonatal Intensive Care Unit team (RNICU) started post-birth care while respiratory therapists quickly hooked the twins up to ventilators and oxygen, C’Asya soon showed signs she was too premature. She passed away a day later. 

Curtis improved and survived.

UAB Care for Nine Months

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Curtis and his mom Michelle Butler with Guiness World Record certificate. Photo via UAB. Taken by Andrea Mabry

Thanks to UAB’s Golden Week Program™,  and nine months of round the clock care, after 275 days in the UAB RNICU, Curtis 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,” Butler told UAB. “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.”

After Curtis left UAB, Colm Travers, M.D., assistant professor in the Division of Neonatology and co-director of the Golden Week Program™ investigated, with Butler’s permission, whether he is the youngest premature baby to survive in the world. 

Six months after reaching out to the Guiness Book of World Records, Travers and the care team gathered outside with Butler and Curtis at the UAB Women and Infants Center, to surprise the family with a special certificate.

The inscription:

Guinness World Records – The most premature baby to survive is Curtis Zy-Keith Means (U.S.A.) who was born to Michelle Butler on 5 July 2020 at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital in Alabama, U.S.A. at a gestational age of 21 weeks 1 day or 148 days, making him 132 days premature. 

Raise a Glass

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Brian Sims, M.D., Ph.D., professor of pediatrics in the UAB Division of Neonatology with Curtis. Photo via UAB

What an incredible story and record. Let’s all raise a bottle or glass of milk today to Curtis, his mom Michelle and the entire UAB team that took care of him and nurtured him for nine months.

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Pat Byington
Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.
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