Born in October 2018, a Japanese boy weighing only the size of an apple, is now about to be discharged from the hospital when his weight increases to more than 3 kg.
The newborn Ryusuke weighed just 258g, the equivalent of an apple. Photo: AFP.
When Ryusuke Sekino was born more than 6 months ago, the baby’s mother even feared that touching her tiny body would endanger her. But the world’s lightest newborn boy survived and will leave the hospital in central Japan on April 20, after his weight increased from 258 g at birth to more than 3 kg.
Ryusuke broke the record for a Japanese boy born two months before him. This boy weighs 268 grams, has not been named, was discharged in February.
Ryusuke was born on October 1, 2018 in emergency surgery at the age of 24 weeks and 5 days after Toshiko Sekino’s mother had hypertension. The baby is only 22 cm long, being treated in the neonatal intensive care unit at Nagano Children’s Hospital, where he is fed through a tube and is occasionally fed breast milk with a cotton swab.
“When he was born, the boy was very small, it felt like if he touched and he would break in two. I was extremely worried then,” Toshiko told reporters at the hospital on April 19.
“Now he can drink milk. We can bathe him himself. I am very happy to see him grow day by day, thanks to the special care of the doctor here”.
Ryusuke’s parents and children at the hospital on April 19. Photo: AFP.
Takehiko Hiroma, the doctor at the hospital, is delighted to have helped Ryusuke’s successful treatment. “The treatment process is very difficult because after giving birth, her blood vessels are too thin, it is difficult to get intravenous infusion,” Hiroma said.
The world’s smallest newborn baby is a German baby girl, born weighing 252 grams in 2015, according to the University of Iowa.
The survival rate of newborn boys is significantly lower than that of girls. The Iowa school website shows that only 6 of the 25 smallest babies in the world that survive with a birth weight less than 300 grams are boys.