Why is it that at the most critical of moments, everything goes wrong? Your new car always starts, but now that you're late for work it won't budge. You get laid off the SAME day you get a massive bill. Few things are worse than the universe conspiring against you, right? After getting dealt the worst hand in history, one cash-strapped dad prepared to get flattened by the hand of a costly repairman - only to be completely blindsided.
It had been a rocky month for Jesse Hulscher and his wife Maria. Like most young couples, they had been struggling financially to carve out a new life together. And even though it wasn't quite planned, they were determined to welcome their first son, Adler into the world. But just as things were finally looking up, he found an odd note attached to a repairman's bill. Was it an extra charge? Some joke? Instead, what he found was something that had him scrambling for his phone.
Jesse and Maria live in Willmar, Minnesota. Everything was going so well for the young family. Jesse was making good money, they had their firstborn son and their bank account kept on expanding. Then, later in September 2016, they shared some big news with friends and family — the Hulscher family was about to become a foursome! They even celebrated by buying Maria a new car. But if something can go wrong, it will go wrong. Just when they thought things couldn't get any better, Jesse came home one night to a sight he'll never forget.
On the night of February 22nd, Jesse was totally caught off-guard. Though she wasn’t due until March, Maria was going into labor. That's when Jesse knew things were about to get pretty rough for the young family. That night, she gave birth to a healthy 7-pound 9-ounce, 21-inch baby boy. Maria was recovering well, and the whole family was ecstatic about the new arrival. But they were so caught up in the excitement that the last thing they were thinking about was the weather, which would prove to be a critical mistake. Little did they know, it was this night that would turn their whole lives upside-down.
Though Minnesotans are used to heavy snowfall, sometimes they just have to stay indoors and ride it out. On the morning of February 22, the National Weather Service reported a big snow storm coming towards southern and central Minnesota. They issued a Winter Storm Watch and expected it would begin as heavy rain on the evening of Thursday, February 23, and change to heavy snow on Friday morning. Upon learning the news, the Hulschers figured they’d be okay as long as they stayed inside. But they couldn't have been more wrong.
It was right about this time that Jesse began preparing everything to welcome Maria and the baby to the house. Everything seemed to be in order, so he hopped in the shower before driving to the hospital to pick them up. But as he finished up showering, the water went cold. Panicked, he went into the furnace room to see what was wrong. It was a nightmare come true. This really couldn't be happening right now, could it?