Right now you have the opportunity to help young people like Baby Richard by donating to Children’s Minnesota. Donations go to help support programs like the one he was able to take advantage of. To give you can text “MN Brighter” to 50155 or just head to wcco.com/brighter.

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A baby so small when he was born it wasn’t clear if he’d make it or not, Baby Richard was born weighing less than one pound. But thanks to the team at Children’s Minnesota, he has a triumphant story to tell.

Beth Hutchinson of Hudson sat in a park holding her smiling baby, telling WCCO, “We had both hoped our first would be a boy.”

But the way Baby Richard’s birth unfolded was something they never would have wished for to happen.

After a long journey, Rick and Beth finally got the news they were hoping for — Beth was pregnant. For the first few months it was smooth sailing, but that didn’t last.

“I just couldn’t get comfortable, I couldn’t sleep. So I went to my doctor, and he said, ‘You’re going into labor,'” she said. “And at that time I wasn’t even 21 weeks. I didn’t know what to think. ‘He can’t come yet.’ I wasn’t even at the halfway point of my pregnancy.”

And the situation was grim. Children’s Minnesota neonatologist Dr. Stacy Kern and her team delivered the news.

“We know that babies born at 21 weeks usually have a poor prognosis, so actually the family was given a 0% chance for baby Richard,” Kern said.

But the Hutchinsons were 100% determined.

“We always had that fear, but deep down we knew that he was going to keep going, he was going to surprise everybody,” Rick said.

And that’s exactly what he did.

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“Richard just surpassed everyone’s expectations again and again, and we have all learned a ton from taking care of this baby,” Kern said.

With skilled intervention, the baby who weighed less than a single pound is now, nine months later, 13 pounds.

“I am proud of him. I don’t think I could have gone through what he went through,” Rick said. “When he was born he could fit in my hand, and now look at him.”

He parents are full of pride and full of gratitude for the staff at Children’s Minnesota.

“Their staff is amazing, from the Welcome Center up to the doctors,” Beth said.

“They are the ones who got us through it. They gave us the hope to keep pushing,” Rick said.

Baby Richard is home and thriving, weaning off oxygen and teething like a healthy baby boy.

“He was 10.63 inches at birth and now he is 24 inches long,” Beth said. “He’s definitely a miracle.”

Smallest success stories can make the biggest impact.

“To watch Richard grow and watch him develop into this happy little amazing person, there’s just no feeling like it,” Rick said.

Baby Richard could soon be named the smallest baby ever to survive. The family has been contacted by the Guinness Book of World Records, and after his first birthday, he will likely be added to the record book.

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Donations go to help support programs for other patients like baby Richard. On Wednesday, you can double your donation thanks to CarVal; they’re matching any amount up to $10,000.

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield