Mother, newborn thrive after Christmas miracle brings them back to life


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — A Colorado couple is crediting God for Christmas miracle after the wife and newborn son were revived during a childbirth drama in which both were believed dead.

After a routine pregnancy, Tracy Hermanstorfer was preparing to give birth Christmas Eve at a Colorado Springs hospital when her husband, Mike, said she felt sleepy, then slipped into cardiac arrest after receiving a local anesthetic. A code blue was called.

"I was holding her hand when we realized she was gone," Mike Hermanstorfer told the Associated Press, adding that it was cold to the touch. "My entire life just rolled out."

Despite ongoing chest compressions and a breathing tube, Tracy did not respond, so the doctors diverted their attention to the baby, trying to save him through a bedside emergency C-section.

As soon as the child, Coltyn, arrived, he was handed to his father, who described the infant as "absolutely lifeless."

"My legs went out from underneath me," Hermanstorfer said.

Dr. Stephanie Martin, a fetal specialist with the hospital, said Tracy was without a heartbeat for about four minutes, while the child had a slow heart rate.

"She had no signs of life. No heartbeat, no blood pressure, she wasn't breathing," Martin said.

In a TV interview with Good Morning America, Martin said it's rare to save a mom in such fetal-related distress.

"Unfortunately, in most of these situations, despite the best efforts of the team, Mom is not able to be revived," Martin told the ABC news show.

According to CBN News, doctors were preparing to remove the bodies of the mother and son from the room, which hours earlier was teeming with the promised of new life.

"Half my family was lying right there in front of me, in my hands," Mike told CBN. "There's no other way to say it, but dead."

Then someone detected a pulse reviving in Tracy. Doctors rushed her into surgery to complete the Caesarean while the medical team focused on reviving baby Coltyn.

"I had everything in the world taken from me, and in an hour and a half I had everything given to me," Mike said.

Both are now home and showing no signs of the Christmas drama. Doctors had no explanation of why Tracy, 33, went into cardiac arrest.

"We did a thorough evaluation and can't find anything that explains why this happened," Martin said.

Mike credits "the hand of God."

"We are both believers ... but this right here, even a nonbeliever—you explain to me how this happened. There is no other explanation," he said.

Martin stopped short of calling it a miracle.

"I don't have a great explanation," Martin said. "From my personal perspective, I'll take help wherever I can get it." 

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