Flathead County Coverage

Oct 2, 2012 12:35 PM by Laura Wilson - KAJ News

Technology, hospital unite Flathead family

WHITEFISH- A Kalispell man who is working overseas for the U.S. Navy wasn't able to be with his wife in person during the birth of their twins, but thanks to technology, along with the generosity of hospital staff, he was still able to witness the miracle of life.

"I was really kind of depressed about it, knowing that he wasn't going to be there...[he's] number one support," Erin Zimbelman told us.

Erin found support through technology and the North Valley Hospital staff, when she requested to Skype Jon while their twins were delivered.

"Everyone was on board with it. We like to have a reputation for trying to keep families together and help with those situations and help people have the birth that they would like to have. They had big smiles on their faces-that this was all going to be much better," hospital B.C. Nurse Manager Cindy Walp explained.

Despite being thousands of miles away, Jon was one of the first people to welcome Braylon and Brielle Zimbelman into the world on September 25th. Braylon was born at 12:38 p.m. and Brielle came just a minute later.

"I think it meant everything to them. They were all excited. The doctor held them up right above the drapes so that dad could see them. There wasn't a dry eye in the room," Walp said.

"When she held up the babies, and they were squirming around and crying, it was a big relief. When you get to hear them for the first time, that was pretty amazing," Jon Zimbelman said from Iraq.

Erin says the experience was a life-changing one. "I felt like he was part of it and that he was a support there for me. For him to be there, it was amazing. I can't explain the feeling."

"Missing that would have been horrible. It's something that you'd never forget about it. Being able to be part of it and see it was awesome. It was really a blessing," Jon observed.

Erin says she'll have her hands full for the next year, while Jon remains overseas. "Learning to juggle twins should be very interesting, but it's been fun so far. I can't wait to spend the rest of my life with them."

Jon will return to Montana, and be back for good, in 2013.

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