10 amazing health stories you may have missed in 2021

For a second year, the COVID-19 pandemic has dominated health news headlines, and for good reason. But amid all the talk of viral variants and vaccine boosters, you may have missed some of this year’s most amazing medical cases and breakthroughs. In 2021, scientists made great strides in the world of organ transplants, cancer treatment trials and gut microbiome research, and doctors shared some amazing treatment success stories.  

Here are 10 cool medical stories you may have missed this year. 

Baby born at 21 weeks survives, against all odds 

Curtis and his mom Michelle Butler.

Curtis and his mom Michelle Butler. (Image credit: Andrea Mabry/The University of Alabama at Birmingham)

Curtis Means and his twin, C’Asya, were born only 21 weeks and 1 day into their gestation, meaning they were about 19 weeks premature. C’Asya did not respond to treatment and died shortly after birth, but Curtis’ vitals steadily began to improve. Even so, doctors estimated that he had only a 1% chance of survival. Over the following months, he received constant care to maintain his breathing and body temperature, and to take in adequate nutrition. He was able to come off his ventilator at 3 months old, and he was discharged from the hospital at 9 months. After six months at home, Curtis and his family received a Guinness World Record certificate acknowledging Curtis as the most premature baby in the world to survive. 

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