Curtis Means was born on July 5, 2020, when his mom, Michelle Butler, had to be rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery just 21 weeks into her pregnancy. She has signs of twins Curtis and C’Asya, 4 months before due date. Only one baby Curtis, survived. His sister, C’Asya, was much less developed and passed away one day later due to complications.
He showed a lot of response to the things we were doing,” said Dr. Brian Sims, professor of pediatrics in the UAB Division of Neonatology, and the attending physician on-call when Butler arrived. “It definitely was a surprise that a baby at his age was as much of a fighter, or as strong as he was.” Sims explained that he and his colleagues had to keep a close eye on Curtis’s responses to treatments as there is no medical precedent for a baby born so premature.
After 275 days in the UAB RNICU, Curtis was discharged on April 6, 2021, a day filled with joy and a little disbelief. A baby with a less than 1 percent chance of survival was healthy enough to go home to his family. Curtis remains on a handful of medications and special treatment, including a feeding tube and bottled oxygen, but is much healthier.
Curtis was given the title of the world’s most premature baby to survive by Guinness World Records. November 11 would have been his due date and the milestone coincides with Prematurity Awareness Month.