A family from Tokyo, Japan are celebrating after bringing their baby boy home from the hospital.
While that’s a special moment for any parents, the news was very meaningful because of this boy’s record-setting birth story.
The unnamed infant weight just 9.45 ounces when he was born prematurely in August, making him the smallest surviving baby boy on record.
The reason for his early arrival was an emergency c-section in the 24th week of his mother’s pregnancy. Doctors found the boy was not gaining weight in his mother’s womb and decided to intervene to save his life.
The Quint Boenker Preemie Survival Foundation says that babies weighing less than 2.2 pounds have just a 39% chance of survival. Keio University Hospital, where the boy was treated, gave a more optimistic 50% survival rate.
After gaining seven pounds during his stay at the hospital, the healthy infant was discharged last week.
"I can only say I’m happy that he has grown this big," the boy’s unnamed mother was quoted by the hospital. "Because honestly, I wasn’t sure he could survive."
The itty bitty infant took the record for smallest surviving baby boy from a German preemie who weighed just 9.6 ounces in 2009, according to records kept by the University of Iowa. The matching record for a baby girl was also set in Germany, by an 8.8 ounce baby born in 2015.
Doctors say the uplifting story is good news for other parents, because it proves that even the smallest babies can grow big and strong.
Boys reportedly have a lower survival rate than girls in premature births, because their lungs seem to develop more slowly.