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This boy is celebrating his first Thanksgiving against all odds


Michelle Butler of Eutaw, Ala., doesn't have to think too hard to know what she's grateful for this Thanksgiving. Many of her family members are getting to meet her son Curtis for the first time.

MICHELLE BUTLER: It's going to be real special because this is going to be Curtis' first year home with us for Thanksgiving.


Curtis and his twin sister were born four months premature, in July.

BUTLER: Curtis was 15 ounces at birth. And his sister C’Asya was 14 ounces at birth.

INSKEEP: Doctors said their chance of survival was less than 1%. His sister died, but he survived.

MARTIN: That makes Curtis officially the most premature baby to survive, according to Guinness World Records, who came to present a certificate naming him as the world's smallest baby. Curtis was on a ventilator for three months. And he stayed in the ICU at the University of Alabama Birmingham for 275 days.

BUTLER: The nine months - it was like, I seen him grow outside of my womb. It was just like, wow, this was supposed to grow inside of me, but actually, he's growing inside of a hospital.

INSKEEP: Curtis was finally discharged in April.

BUTLER: It was exciting to actually bringing him home. And my kids only seen him on Zoom, so it was just like, now my family is complete.


BUTLER: Yes, he is very busy.

INSKEEP: He still uses a feeding tube and supplemental oxygen, although Michelle says the doctors will start weaning him from both soon.

BUTLER: I hooked up a machine - like an IV-line pump thing - to his stomach, and it pumps the food into his stomach 'cause he's not eating by mouth as of yet. And Curtis is on oxygen - on a half a liter.

MARTIN: It's been hard, but you take the pleasure where you can. Curtis beat the previous Guinness World Record by just 24 hours. Michelle has the plaque on display in her living room.

BUTLER: I'm very proud of it.

MARTIN: Happy Thanksgiving, Curtis.


DAVID RYAN HARRIS: (Singing) All your life's full of possibility. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.