Miracle at Memorial: Mom and Baby Die During Labor, Revived

By: Rick Montanez Email
By: Rick Montanez Email

Some are calling it a Christmas miracle... a mom and her baby die during labor, but doctors at Memorial Hospital in Colorado Springs were able to bring them both back to life.

Now, the whole family is back together at home. Doctors say it's very rare for this to happen, but after Tracey Hermanstorfer passed away during labor, doctors delivered the baby by c-section, with no anesthesia. That's when the family says the miracles began to unfold.

"There’s only one explanation for having either one of them, let alone both of them here,” said Mike Hermanstorfer. “It's just an absolute miracle."

On Christmas Eve, Tracey's water broke, so the couple went to Memorial Hospital. They thought it would be a routine delivery, just like it was with their other two boys.

"I guess I went into cardiac arrest and I really don't remember anything after that," Tracey recalls.

"She was dead, she had no heartbeat, no breathing,” said Stephanie Martin, D.O., director of maternal fetal medicine at Memorial Hospital. “She was as gray as her sweatsuit, no signs of life."

"I sat there with my wife's hand in mine, ice cold,” said Mike. “She was completely and totally blue."

After trying, in vain, to resuscitate Tracey for several minutes, Dr. Martin decided to do an emergency c-section right there in the delivery room. But when the baby came out, he too wasn't breathing.

"Half of my family was laying there in front of me, there's no other way to say it, but dead," said Mike.

Then came the Hermanstorfer's Christmas miracle. "Immediately after delivering him, her pulse came back," said Dr. Martin. Martin tells 11 News, when pregnant women have complications, they have been known to recover once the baby is delivered.

After the delivery, doctors rushed Tracey to the operating room to complete the surgery. In the meantime, Coltyn's tiny, lifeless, body was handed to his father Mike. Doctors still worked to get the baby breathing. "They actually got him started right in my hands. That is an amazing feeling," said Mike.

Mom and baby now show no sign of complications. The Hermanstorfer family is home, getting to know baby Coltyn, who was born weighing 7lbs. 4oz. and measuring 19 inches long. His original due date was January 5.

After running multiple tests, doctors still don't know what sent Tracey into cardiac arrest. Doctors they tell 11 News, although little Coltyn shows no signs of complications his parents will have to keep a close eye on his milestones. They have to monitor things like when he crawls and sits up, because there is no way to know for sure if he will suffer long-term effects.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by eliane Location: lebanon on Jun 24, 2010 at 02:42 PM
    hey my name is eliane and my sister in law died a month ago after 33 days of delivering her twin girls. the girls were also dead and it was a big tragedy for my brother and all of us. we really wished that a miracle would happen and save her but unfortunately she died becz many problems occured and her body couldn't overcome them. So, what im here to say is that u should thank god for saving this women and her baby and i felt happy while reading this story but at the same time i wondered why god didn't save our PAMELA, may her soul rest in peace :(
  • by Trishanna Location: Long Beach, CA on Jan 26, 2010 at 12:03 AM
    I agree with Kathie. It's sad that people don't believe in God when the evidence is right in front of you. The world was not made by any accident and neither were we. If that was the case then people should still be evolving from monkeys, and there should be Earths everywhere! I understand that not everyone will believe and that's why it's our job as saints of God to pray for them, be examples for them, and one day God will reveal Himself to them. You may not ever believe in God while you're here on Earth, but regardless of what you believe, I know that one day we all have to stand before Jesus and give an account for our actions. On that day you all cannot say you did not hear about Him. I pray that the Lord will have mercy on you. God is REAL! I have seen too many things, and there aren't that many coincidences in the world. May God help you all who do not believe.
  • by Kiara Location: Long Island, NY on Jan 12, 2010 at 11:32 AM
    It truly is sad people wil come and check these comments everyday to get thier 2 cents in, nothing written on this page is going to change anyone's religious ideas, get over it. This is a miracle, wether you believe in god or not, the deffinition of a miracle is any amazing or wonderful occurence, it says nothing about religion. Im only 14 and it seems i have more sense then most of you. Congratualations to the family =)
  • by Jenna Location: Dallas on Jan 10, 2010 at 06:40 PM
    I actually agree with Mike on all of this. While I *do* think it is nothing short of amazing taht this woman and her baby came back to life, I'm not certain that God had anything to do with it. I agree that with such miracles are an equal number of tragedies that cannot be explained and certainly aren't because God "had greater plans." There is no "greater plan" for a baby who is bludgeoned in Africa or for a newborn whose mother dies and then lives a life of neglect and abuse or a baby who is born addicted to crack and eventually dies. I could go on. I know it sounds negative, but the reality is that EVERY religion believes that their religion is the RIGHT one, when what it might be is the right one for them.
  • by Mike Location: STL on Jan 8, 2010 at 07:41 AM
    Kathie, I do not have a "hard heart" and nothing is "sad" about my beliefs. It may be hard for you to fathom considering you're very wrapped up in your belief system. Perhaps people of other belief systems should pray for you since you are of the "wrong" religion? Maybe a Jew or a Muslim should be praying for your soul in hopes that God will guide you to the correct religion for salvation? Consider that. Doesn't mean much to you does it? You're not at ALL concerned that your Jewish or Muslim neighbor fears for your sad lost soul and prays for your salvation. Why? Rhetorical, I can guess why. You're as wrapped up in your belief system as they are. Your words to me are equally as hollow as a Muslims would be to you. Perhaps more so. If you could see outside the box you've had erected around your mind you'd be able to understand that no religion can verify any more than another that they are right. Thus, no loving God would punish all for not guessing right.
  • by Kathie Location: Colorado Springs on Jan 7, 2010 at 10:39 AM
    I am so sad reading most of these comments. WOW we really have some LOST souls around us. MIKE I hope I have the privilege to see what AMAZING thing GOD does in your life to reveal the truth to you! You have a hard heart. I am going to make my new years resolution right now. A promise in fact. I will pray for you and the other people who have made these sad comments every single day in 2010! I have a smile knowing that GOD is truly going to wake you all up. Hope you share what finally brings you to the truth I am sure it will be miraculous! God bless you all and God bless This family! PRAISE GOD!
  • by Sunshine Location: Colo Springs on Jan 5, 2010 at 01:57 PM
    I spoke with Tracey and her family a few days ago. She did have the epidural, and it all happened about 5 mins after she received it. What an amazing story, and a lovely family.
  • by Mike Location: STL on Jan 5, 2010 at 12:25 PM
    One last thing, to those trying to selfishly use this situation to claim it is your God at work-just because you can't understand the medical complications of the situation: http://www.ksdk.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=163369 Here is a story about someone I knew: A head-on collision killed a 24-year-old pregnant Cedar Hill woman and her two unborn twins on Christmas Eve. "Kim Farrar was due to give birth to twin girls any day. Now, instead of celebrating their births, her family is mourning their death and praying for their father, James, to recover." I am sure you will try to claim this is a result of 'God having greater plans" or "God is mysterious" but then when a good story like the one these comments are about comes along you then say, 'God is great!' So silly. Everything you like is just God being great. Everything that is tragic is just God having greater plans. You rationalize anything to maintain your mindset. It's close minded.
  • by Mike Location: STL on Jan 5, 2010 at 06:45 AM
    Tony, I think you need to learn what "proof" is. That is not "proof". There IS NO PROOF of God, otherwise there would not be Faith. No evidence gathered in the history of science shows there to be a God. Everything we know exists in a complex-yet undivine-Universe. You may personally develope an OPINION that there is magic going on around you, but this magic leaves no evidence to show it exists nor can it be traced in any way. As such, how can I take your OPINION seriously? ESPECIALLY when we actually get down to what you believe we will find that your TRUTH has no more support than the TRUTH a person of a different religion possesses. Hearing you claim truth and them claim truth when neither can actually support it with anything more than OPINION makes you a very questionable source. To avoid making the mistake of assuming my truth/opinion is greater than someone elses, I prefer to follow what can be supported with real evidence-or lack thereof. This tells me there is no God.
  • by Kirin Location: Colorado Springs on Jan 4, 2010 at 03:02 AM
    Wonderful story. But of course, the nurses and other staff had NOTHING to do with the awesome outcome. Just the doctors!!!
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