Mother and Newborn Stop Breathing during Childbirth and Recover Minutes Later

A husband and father had prepared himself to go home alone when his wife’s heart stopped in labor. He then discovered that his son, born through C-section, was stillborn. For four minutes, he survived the worst until a miracle happened. 

Life is made up of happy and sad moments, presenting countless challenges. Battling tough times teaches us resilience and makes us hopeful for a better, brighter tomorrow. 

When their third son was born, the Hermanstorfer family underwent a sore trial. 12 years later, the family of five is happy and grateful for the series of events that unfolded to change their lives forever.

[Left] A mother sleeping with her baby. [Right] Tracy pictured with Coltyn. | Photo: Shutterstock |

When Mike Hermanstorfer took his wife to the Memorial Hospital in Colorado Springs, he didn’t know what they’d be put through. The couple already had two kids and were excited to welcome their Christmas baby.

His wife, Tracy Hermanstorfer, was healthy and experienced no complications during pregnancy. The soon-to-be parents thought they had nothing to worry about until Mike received shocking news. 

Tracy went into cardiac arrest around 12:30 pm on Christmas Eve in 2009. Mike, who stood next to her, watched as the doctors changed monitors and his wife’s hands fell out of his. Her skin was pale, cold to touch. 

Mike was dumbfounded, as the births of their older kids had gone smoothly, and he thought this time would be no different. After receiving her epidural and several hours of contractions, Tracy’s heart stopped in labor. 

Coltyn found out about his miracle baby status in 2016 when he was a first-grader.

Soon afterward, the staff at Memorial Hospital gave a Code Blue. But after failed resuscitation attempts, they performed an emergency C-section to take baby Coltyn out. When he was delivered, he had no heartbeat. 

Mike was shattered as the nurses handed him his lifeless son. While he mustered up the strength to go home alone without his wife and son, something unexpected happened. Mike further revealed:

“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.”

The happy dad then received another wonderful piece of news. Baby Coltyn breathed his first breath in his father’s arms. Tracy had no pulse for nearly four minutes. What could have been a disaster turned into a heartwarming Christmas miracle. 

Dr. Stephanie Martin, director of fetal medicine at Memorial Hospital, was nearby when Tracy went into labor and ran to the delivery room to help. She explained there’s no clear medical explanation for Tracy and Coltyn’s recovery. Martin told CNN: 

“We call it a four-minute rule. I knew that if Tracy was not resuscitated by four to five minutes after her heart stopped, [the baby’s] chances for brain injury began to increase dramatically.”

Tracy, who died during childbirth and was revived, said she didn’t recall what she experienced. The happy mother shared it felt like she was asleep but was elated to know she and her son were alive and healthy.

Coltyn found out about his miracle baby status in 2016 when he was a first-grader. Regarding his son’s goofy nature, Tracy shared: 

“He’s like, ‘I’m the miracle baby,’ — he tries to get out of chores with that — ‘but I’m the miracle baby,’ and I look at him, ‘I’m the miracle mom. It’s not working.'”

Mike, who witnessed his wife and son die and come back to life, continues to share his family’s Christmas story with the world. The doting husband and father advised people never to stop believing in miracles. Truly heartwarming!

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