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.