Youngest Surviving Premature Babies

8 Youngest Surviving Premature Babies

Premature birth is classified as a birth that occurs before the 37th week of pregnancy. A full term lasts for about 40 weeks. As you can imagine, several complications stem from premature birth. It afflicts about 200,000 newborns in the United States per year. Things like slow weight gain, issues with regulating body temperature, and poor feeding habits are all things parents might have in store for them should their baby weather those first few difficult weeks.

Preterm babies may come into our world, clinging desperately to life and fighting for each breath. But that doesn’t damn them to a life filled with the same struggle. Preemie children need some catching up but can lead a completely normal and fulfilling life, as we’ll soon find out.

Let’s take a look at some of the youngest surviving premature babies that despite their small beginnings, had a big impact!

8. Sir Isaac Newton

Age: 84
Born: 01/04/1643
Weeks Early: N/A (3 lbs at birth)
Profession: Scientist

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Scientist is just an umbrella term when referring to the genius of Sir Isaac Newton. It doesn’t even begin to encapsulate the level of intellect and impact he’s had on the human race in various fields of academia. He was a mathematician, physicist, alchemist, theologian, astronomer, and author. He’s also responsible for Newton’s Three Laws of Motion, formulating the theory of universal gravity and inventing calculus. All of you struggling mathematics majors out there, you have Newton to thank for that one! 

When he was born in 1642 at just three pounds, no one expected him to survive, let alone contain an exceptionally capable mind. His once-in-a-century prodigious intellect is partly the reason for our leaps and bounds in technological evolution, how we observe the world and the universe around us.

Did You Know?

It was speculated that based on a few antisocial traits Newton showed throughout his life that he may have been on a spectrum for high-functioning autism.

7. Stevie Wonder

Age: 71
Born: 05/13/1950
Weeks Early: 6
Profession: Musician

Stevie Wonderphoto source:

Stevie Wonder is one of the greatest artists of our generation. He is a singer, songwriter, musician, and record producer who has bumped elbows with and extended his influence in so much of our favorite music. He crosses and blends genres as effortlessly as anyone, blending electronics, gospel, soul, funk, pop, jazz, and R&B.

Despite being born six weeks premature and then rendered blind shortly after his birth, the odds were stacked against him. Like with so many greats, the worst of odds cannot contain the spirit and tenacity of a musical genius.

Did You Know?

Throughout a nearly 60-year career, Wonder stayed loyal to the one record label with him since before he was even a teenager – Motown Records. That’s also the label responsible for serving as the springboard for all-time greats like Diana Ross and The Jackson 5. However, Stevie recently left Motown to produce new music on his own label.

6. Albert Einstein

Age: 76
Born: 03/14/1879
Weeks Early: 8
Profession: Theoretical Physicist

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Albert Einstein is a fellow genius cut from the same cloth as Sir Isaac Newton. The German patent clerk-turned-theoretical physicist is responsible for much of what we understand about relativity, quantum mechanics, and our place in the cosmos. He was instrumental in developing the nuclear technology that would later be implemented in the atomic bomb, turning the tides of war in favor of America. 

All of Einstein’s monumental achievements come in stark contrast to how he came into this world. Albert was eager to burst onto the scene, considering his birth was eight weeks early.

Did You Know?

Albert Einstein was one of the founding members of the German Democratic Party. His political views leaned socialist, and he remained an outspoken critic of capitalism throughout his life.

5. Winston Churchill

Age: 90
Born: 11/30/1874
Weeks Early: 8
Profession: Prime Minister

Winston Churchillphoto source:

It would be hard for anyone to tell that Winston Churchill entered into this world as an eight-week premature baby, given his portly body composition in his adult years. Churchill was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during World War 2 and again from 1951 to 1955.

Winston is recognized as a prolific leader in wartime, a Nobel Prize winner, and a historian. He represented the best of the brains and the brawn. 

Did You Know?

Churchill married his talent for writing with his passion for history with several historical books that netted him the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1953.  

4. Mark Twain

Age: 74
Born: 11/30/1835
Weeks Early: 8
Profession: Writer

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Mark Twain and his writings have become cornerstones of American literature and staples within the education system worldwide. Known as “the father of American literature,” his most famous works include The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.

Twain was born eight weeks early and weighed in at a whopping five pounds. Along with his premature birth, he also experienced premature death when his obituary was mistakenly published in a paper long before his passing.

Did You Know?

Mark Twain dropped out of school after his father’s passing. Rather than give up on education, he wisely took up an apprenticeship at the Hannibal Journal. He would spend his free-time self-educating in the library, absorbing the works of the greats that came before him.

3. Johannes Kepler

Age: 58
Born: 12/27/1571
Weeks Early: 8
Profession: Scientist

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Johannes Kepler was a mathematician, astronomer, philosopher, musical composer, and a key player in the Scientific Revolution of the 17th century. He’s given us contributions to the laws of planetary motion, which we still apply in our curriculums today.

Born at seven months, no one predicted he’d last very long. That’s especially true with early science and a lack of understanding of preemies in the 1500s. And to think if he hadn’t made it to adulthood, we’d miss one of the founders of modern astronomy and physics.

Did You Know?

Kepler was the imperial mathematician to the Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II.

2. Wayde van Niekerk

Age: 29
Born: 07/15/1992
Weeks Early: 11
Profession: Track and Field Sprinter

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Wayde van Niekerk was born 11 weeks early as a feeble, premature baby. Now, he is one of South Africa’s and the world’s world-class athletes. Wayde runs track and field as a sprinter, competing in the 200 and 400-meter events. In the 400, he’s the world and Olympic record holder. 

If that isn’t impressive enough, he also holds the best time in the 300 meters. For Niekerk, simply making it to the Olympics wasn’t enough. He had to dominate it too. Wayde took home the gold medal in the 400m during the 2016 Olympic Games at Rio de Janeiro. 

Did You Know?

Wayde van Niekerk is the first sprinter in history to run the 100 meters in under 10 seconds, the 200 in under 20, and 400 in under 44. His unprecedented achievements will solidly him among the greatest track athletes of all time.

1. Curtis Means

Age: 1
Born: 07/05/2020
Weeks Early: 19
Profession: N/A

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Curtis Means is the youngest surviving premature baby of all time!

As noted by the Guinness World Records, Curtis Means was named the most premature infant to survive, being born 19 weeks early! Dr. Brian Sims, the attending physician on-call, stated that “numbers show that babies born so young have little to no chance of survival.” 

Thanks to the resuscitation efforts from Dr. Sims and his team, the baby began showing signs of improvement with his heart rate and oxygen levels increasing gradually. For Curtis, he was a miracle baby in every sense. 

Did You Know?

After 275 days in the UAB neonatal intensive care unit, Curtis was discharged from the hospital. It was a day most never imagined could become a reality when given a less than 1% chance of survival. “Being able to finally take Curtis home and surprise my older children with their younger brother is a moment I will always remember,” said Michelle Butler. Six months after his discharge, Guinness World Records and the care team surprised the family with their record-breaking certificate.



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