A MIGHTY LITTLE FIGHTER
YOU South Africa|9 December 2021
He weighed less than a loaf of bread at birth – now Curtis Zy-Keith Means has set the record for being the world’s smallest baby to survive
NASIFA SULAIMAN
THE odds were heavily stacked against him. He was born at just 21 weeks and a day and weighed only 420g – less than a loaf of bread.

Doctors didn’t think he’d survive and his mother was told to prepare for the worst. But now, more than a year later, Curtis Zy-Keith Means has surprised and delighted them all – and stamped his tiny footprint in the history books too.

The little boy is the holder of the Guinness World Record for being the most premature baby to survive.

Michelle Butler is overjoyed by the strides her son has made. “I’m very proud of him because I can tell the difference from where he came from and where he’s at now,” she says.

Michelle, who is from Alabama in the US, was expecting twins when she went into sudden labour. Curtis’ sister didn’t make it and his condition was precarious.

But he was alive – and for Michelle that was all that mattered. He was placed in an incubator, hooked up to a maze of tubes and machines and was four weeks old when she was able to hold him for the first time.

Curtis spent the first 10 months of his life in hospital before he was considered strong enough to go home and Michelle was overwhelmed with relief.

“Being able to finally take Curtis home and surprise my older children with their younger brother is a moment I’ll always remember,” she says.

Curtis, who is now 17 months old, has gone from strength to strength. He still relies on a feeding tube and a nasal cannula, which helps supplement his oxygen. He also needs speech and physical therapy but his doctor is pleased with his progress.

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