For roughly 4 minutes on Christmas Eve, Tracy Hermanstorfer had stopped breathing while her son was stillborn. But then a Christmas miracle unfolded.
Tracy and Mike Hermanstorfer were super excited about having a Christmas baby. They had gotten admitted to the Memorial Health System in Colorado Springs, Colorado. As the pair waited to welcome their new child into this world, the most horrifying thing happened. "I was waiting to hear a baby cry. I was waiting for it and I never did hear it," said Mike explaining what was supposed to be one of the best days in his life suddenly became the worst, reports KKTV "I opened my hand and her arm just fell out of mine," recalled the heartbroken husband.
That morning the couple had gone to the hospital after Tracy went into labor. A fetal monitor had to be attached to the baby's head as its heart rate was slow and Tracy was given an epidural. There weren't any major problems. After several hours of contractions, the mother was growing very weary. "Rest, close your eyes," Mike told Tracy as per a report by Reader's Digest. "It looks like you’re going to have a long day." Then around 2:30 p.m. on Christmas Eve in 2009, Mike found himself standing next to his wife in disbelief.
"They were changing monitors at that point in time and in the middle of changing monitors, she stopped breathing," recalled Mike. Fear crept in when he touched his 34-year-old wife's hand. It was cold to touch. This incident came as a shock to everyone as Tracy was perfectly healthy before her heart had stopped all of a sudden. Everything had gone smoothly during her previous two deliveries and there weren't any indications that her third would be any different.
Their room echoed with "Code Blue," and this meant doctors had to resuscitate the patient who was going into cardiac arrest. "The risk of a woman dying in the course of trying to carry a pregnancy is an incredibly rare event," said the director of obstetrics at Massachusetts General Hospital, Michael Green, who was not involved with Hermanstorfer's case according to CNN. "The number of things that can cause this in an otherwise healthy woman is a very short list."
Soon Dr. Stephanie Martin, who was close by, rushed into the delivery room where Mike was present staring at his wife's body thinking she's already dead. "My first thought was that I can't allow this father to lose both his wife and his child, especially on Christmas Eve," resolved Martin, the director of maternal-fetal medicine at Memorial Health System. Despite opting for an emergency C-section, Martin had lost both mother and child. "She had no signs of life. No heartbeat, no blood pressure, she wasn't breathing," recalled Dr. Stephanie, a maternal-fetal medicine specialist at the hospital.
Describing the condition of the baby, she continued, "[he] was basically limp, with a very slow heart rate." But when Mike was given the heartbreaking news his world fell apart. "My entire life just rolled out. They handed him to me, he's absolutely lifeless," he added. "When they roll her away, take her down to the operating room just to finish up the procedure from doing the C-section ... her heart starts beating." For roughly 4 minutes Tracy did not have a heartbeat and then another miracle happened. As the doctors attempted to revive the baby, he woke up all of a sudden. "His life began in my hands," Mike told Daily News. "That's a feeling like no other."
Although something as severe as this happened, Tracy woke up with no recollection of it whatsoever. "I just felt like I was asleep," she told a news outlet. "I'm like, 'holy cow, what it that bad?" Doctors couldn't provide a clear medical explanation for Hermanstorfer and her son's recoveries. Today, after seven years, both the mother and the child are as healthy as ever. In 2016, when Coltyn was in his first grade, he was told about him being a "miracle baby." Speaking to KKTV, Tracy said, "He's like, 'I'm the miracle baby,' when he's told to do a chore and Tracy looks at him and says, 'I'm the miracle mom. It's not working." The husband and father who for a brief moment had to witness half of his family die shared the reason behind sharing this story with everyone. "I want people out there that ever have second thoughts or ever have doubts about anything to realize that miracles do happen. Don't ever give up."