The tiniest surviving baby boy in the world has been released safely to go home after months in the hospital.
Back in August, the infant was delivered prematurely. He had stopped growing in his mother’s womb. Doctors at a Tokyo hospital feared he would not survive unless they intervened. Though he weighed just 268 grams (about 9.45 ounces) at birth, his caregivers believed he needed to be nourished in the hospital to live and grow.
The boy stayed in intensive care until he was discharged on February 20, 2019. On that day, he weighed in at a healthy 7 pounds. His relieved and happy mother told Reuters news service, “I am grateful that he has grown this big because, honestly, I wasn’t sure he could survive.”
Other very tiny premature babies have also been tracked to health after being born frighteningly early. The Tiniest Babies registry keeps track of those. It is a database managed by the University of Iowa. Prior to this Japanese baby boy, the record for smallest surviving boy was held by a baby born in Germany in 2009. His birth weight was slightly higher at 274 grams. The smallest girl was born in Germany in 2015. According to the registry, she weighed 252 grams. That is barely more than half a pound.
The registry is not the only way these most fragile and vulnerable of people are tracked. God keeps track of every human life. Every child and every adult is made in God’s image. Every life is sacred to Him, and every life is known.
God spoke to the prophet Jeremiah. He said, “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, and before you were born, I consecrated you.” King David also wrote in Psalm 139 that he was knitted together in his mother’s womb, and that God knew every day of his life before even one of them had come to pass. (Psalm 139: 13-16)
(The world’s smallest baby boy is shown at five days after delivery, and again in the inset as he is being released to go home from the hospital about six months later. Photo: Keio University School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics/Handout via Reuters)