I recently read a story about Richard Scott William Hutchinson. Richard was caught on camera demolishing his first birthday cake.

Enjoying a first birthday cake is typical of most babies, but to this little boy and his family, this celebration was anything but typical and a genuine cause of celebration.

You see, when Richard was born, the neonatalogy team at Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis gave him a zero percent chance of survival.

Despite this grim diagnosis, within one year, even before his first birthday, Richard was recognized by Guinness World Records as the “World’s most premature baby to survive.”

Richard had been born at just 21 weeks — a whopping 131 days premature. He weighed just 11.9 ounces — not even 1 pound.

Due to COVID-19, Richard’s parents were unable to stay with him at the hospital, which forced them to travel daily from their home in western Wisconsin.

Richard’s dad said, “We made sure we were there to give him support. I think that helped him get through this because he knew he could count on us.”

After six months in the hospital, Richard left with grateful parents, an adoring fan club at the hospital, and a Guiness World Record.

A case like this can change the culture of a whole hospital and the community as well. Richard’s fan club were all in tears bidding him farewell. His is a powerful story of survival which resides in all of us. His story reminds us that life is a miracle. It is precious in all its stages and worth protecting.

Sadly, Richard’s story is also a reminder of the thousands of little Richards who have been aborted since 1973.

Despite stories like Richard’s, some people think it is OK to abort babies his age and older.

Last year alone in Michigan, 29,669 babies who might have celebrated their first birthday by demolishing their cake were denied that chance because they were aborted. We have hospitals who will facilitate an abortion on a preborn child in one room and go to heroic efforts to save a child at the same age of gestation in another room. That kind of cognitive dissonance needs to end. Life is precious, and all human lives deserve the love, support and protection Richard Scott William Hutchinson received.

The story of Richard resonated with me as my great niece recently gave birth to Everleigh, weighing less than 2 pounds.

How we are praying for this baby girl. Every day she lives is a blessing.

Let us acknowledge how precious each life is and work to vote to ensure that babies are not discarded like a piece of trash.

Joyce Archer

Owosso

(1) comment

Louise

I also celebrate the survival of this baby. Is the writer aware of the monetary costs for premature babies? Hospital costs are over $3500 per day - many premature births result in hospital bills of over $1 million. We all pay for this in higher insurance premiums. Many premature babies also experience serious health problems during their lives that cost more money. I bring this up because so many people who oppose abortion, refuse to support legislation that would help young children who are born into families who can't afford to provide them adequate care. (They wrongly state that social welfare programs allow people to stay home and use drugs.) Many people who oppose abortion also do not want to help the refugees who are streaming into this country in search of a safe place to raise their children. Many who oppose abortion also support the death penalty. Children who are brought up in healthy stable homes are less likely to commit crimes. I sincerely hope that all the people who celebrate the miracle of this baby's survival also do everything possible to help and support children after they are born - regardless of where and under what conditions they are born.

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