Eleven Hours In Room 407

Tim Botos: Still inside his mom’s womb, Austin Gerstenslager began a journey to his birth and medically certain death.

A half-dozen nurses and assistants wheeled mom and unborn out of Room 407 at Aultman Hospital’s birth center. The bed glided across glossy tiled floors, en route to an emergency cesarean section. It was shortly before noon on Aug. 18, a Saturday.

Tears slid down Keri Gerstenslager’s cheeks. She watched a blur of hallway lights above. She passed the nurse’s station on the left. Her bed took a sharp left. It zipped past elevators. Then a hard right turn. She was whisked through a set of double doors, and into an operating room.

It was 14 weeks before her due date. Even worse, her water had broken six weeks earlier, which causes a fetus to develop even slower.

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