On October 1st, 2018, a baby boy was born via Caesarean section weighing only 9 ounces (or 258 grams). Born at 24 weeks 5 days in the Nagano Children's Hospital in Japan, Ryusuke Sekiya was delivered early due to his mother's hypertension and measured a mere 8.66 inches at birth. To put his extraordinarily small size into perspective, the average human heart weighs about 11 ounces, making the boy's birth and survival nothing short of miraculous.
DW reports that the Japanese baby is said to be the smallest known surviving baby boy ever born, with the previous record holder weighing 10 grams more than Ryusuke at 268 grams. According to Arab News, currently, "the smallest surviving [baby] girl was born in Germany in 2015. She weighed just 252 grams at birth". If you're still having a hard time imagining a baby of that size, pick up a can of soup and mentally subtract roughly 30% of its weight.
Not being able to feed for himself, nurses in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) relied on tubes and cotton swabs soaked in his mother's milk to feed Ryusuke. Little by little over the course of his hospital stay, the boy grew stronger and now no longer needs the tubes or cotton swabs to feed. After 29 weeks (almost 7 months), baby Ryusuke Sekiya has been released from the hospital and is allowed to go home. Now weighing roughly 7 pounds, he is growing exceptionally well.
According to DW, in an interview with Fuji TV news, the boy's mother says "I can really feel his weight now. He used to be so light". She goes on saying how she used to be scared to hold him because he was so small. She was afraid she would break him. In the interview, his mother also says that "now he drinks milk. We can give him a bath. I am happy that I can see him growing".
Ryusuke Sekiya was delivered with doctors questioning his chance of survival but has shown the world that he has a purpose and is fighting to fulfill it. Now a healthy 7-month-old, Ryusuke is growing steadily with the love and support of his family. Although there are probably more obstacles to come for the infant, Ryusuke Sekiya has proved to be quite the little fighter with a will to live.