By Kathleen Gilbert

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado, January 4, 2010 ( – A Colorado family's brush with tragedy Christmas Eve transformed into a dramatic celebration of the gift of life when a father says he witnessed his wife and newborn child revive after both appeared to die in the midst of delivery.

Mike Hermanstorfer, 37, said there was no sign anything was wrong as his 33-year-old wife Tracy was being prepped to give birth to her son Coltyn, the couple's third child, the morning of Christmas Eve.  Hermanstorfer was holding his wife's hand as she lay back in her bed, saying she felt tired.

Moments later, doctors discovered that Tracy had stopped breathing and lost a pulse.  Hospital staff rushed to revive her with chest compressions and a breathing tube, but eventually told Hermanstorfer that their best efforts had failed. 

“I was holding her hand when we realized she was gone,” Hermanstorfer said. “My entire life just rolled out.”

Doctors quickly delivered Coltyn by caesarean section, but he appeared lifeless as he was given to his father.  After a few agonizing minutes of doctors trying to revive the baby, the father says he saw his son begin to stir in his arms, and soon learned that his wife had also miraculously revived.

“My legs went out from underneath me,” he recalled Tuesday.  “I had everything in the world taken from me, and in an hour and a half I had everything given to me.”

Dr. Stephanie Martin, a maternal fetal medicine specialist who was called in for the ordeal at Memorial Hospital in Colorado Springs, said that Tracy's malady, and her recovery, were both mysteries.  “We did a thorough evaluation and can't find anything that explains why this happened,” she said.

“[Tracy] had no signs of life. No heartbeat, no blood pressure, she wasn't breathing,” said Martin. “The baby was, it was basically limp, with a very slow heart rate.”

Tracy, whose heart began beating as she was being rushed to surgery, says she remembers nothing in between suddenly feeling sleepy and waking up after the ordeal.  “I just felt like I was asleep,” she said.

While medical science was left without an explanation, Mr. Hermanstorfer credited “the hand of God” for making a miracle of a near tragedy.

“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.

“Wherever I can get the help, I'll take it,” said Martin, when asked about divine intervention.