A Moment in Time (Part I)

Sunday, August 21, 2016. As my husband and I were heading out for dinner, somewhere around 5:40ish, he yelled up the stairs to his daughter Lindsay, “home straight from dinner, school tomorrow.” I’m sure she answered “Yes, Sir.” I didn’t pay attention, or say anything, not even goodbye, as I knew I would be seeing her in a couple of hours. She was leaving at 6:00 to meet a friend for dinner at Tower 7 in Wilmington. A last hurrah before her first official day of Senior year the next morning. We’d all be back safe and sound by 8:00, wouldn’t we? I’d see her then.

We sat down at Pizzettas in Leland, ordered and were chatting about Seaglass, we got the call at 6:08. (((Don’t panic, don’t panic))) We explained we had an emergency and had to leave, walked quickly, maybe jogged?!, to the car and headed to Compass Pointe, that was one of the few words Brad was able to make out from Lindsay’s moms frantic phone call. That 5 minute ride felt like a lifetime. (((Positive thoughts, don’t panic))) Then we saw it, sirens, first responders, ambulances, cops. (((DO NOT PANIC))) I ran to the closest Policeman he knew who I was looking for, “Go to the hospital Sweetheart, go to New Hanover.” That was all he would say. My husband scanned the scene for her car, he found it. He did not speak, I did not shut up, it was the longest ride of our lives.

Emergency Room, no answers, Nurses, Doctors, Chaplains, phone calls, Trauma Doctors, Surgeons, Neurosurgeons. No answers. Emergency Surgery, very low chance of survival. Medicines? Allergies? No time to waste. Sit, wait. Wait. Wait. Is this really happening? Family. Friends. Teachers. Administrators. Prayers. So many prayers. Wait. Cry. Positive thoughts. Terrible thoughts, no ONLY positive thoughts. 2 hours felt like 2 days. Here he comes, Dr. Huffmon, man of few words. She survived the surgery, she is alive, very low survival rate. That’s it?! Seriously? Wait. Wait. There was a herd (as my southern husband would say) at the hospital that night, and we all walked together up to the Surgical Trauma Intensive Care Unit (STICU). Men, women, kids. Family, friends, teachers. Openly crying and scared. Is this really happening?! It was 1:30 Monday morning when we told the kids and teachers there was nothing they could do, we would get no news any time soon and they needed to go home. It was the first day of school, they needed to get some rest.

We spent 7 days at the STICU.

Lindsay never regained consciousness, we would later find out if she had been an adult they would have never done the surgery, it would have been called a fatal accident, but, because of her age they had to give her every chance. We held her hand, cried, prayed, laughed, sang Beyoncé and begged her to come back. Each day gave us more bad news, each day we continued to pray. Lindsay was getting tired, her body was exhausted, she knew it was time to let go, we had to listen to her. Our prayers for recovery turned to prayers for peace.

Sunday, August 28, 2016 5:42PM exactly one week to the day (almost to the hour), we held her hand and cried as we said goodbye to a young lady who would soon become a hero. A girl who turned a terrible story into a story of hope.

Tomorrow I will continue the story of hope and how a terrible accident change my life, and my faith, forever.

Thank you for letting me tell our story,


So many people have asked, if we can do anything, please let us know, well here you go…please consider donating to the Lindsay M. Benton Foundation, visit our website for more info. 

17 thoughts on “A Moment in Time (Part I)

  1. Linda says:

    Your telling of your story and Lindsay’s story is all at once heartbreaking and powerful, inspiring! Thank you for sharing this. What a special young woman and family. May God bless you! 💜


  2. Terri says:

    Oh Kelli, I wish I could help, change this to a happy ending, Lindsay was too young and too beautiful, too good. The why Lord, why? Is always coming back to me. I hate that this happened and I am so sorry for you all. I love you and therefore love your family. I am so sad. I am in awe of your strength. I know it is God giving the grace to get through this. One day at a time.


  3. Beth says:

    Praying for you and for your family during this difficult time. May God continue to give you strength and courage and thank you for sharing your story.


  4. ashirtzlayman says:

    I am so very sorry. This leaves me speechless. I don’t know any of the family members, but this is so heartbreaking. My prayers & thoughts are w/ you all. She was a beautiful woman..and from what I have read, inside and out. God Bless you all…I can’t imagine how difficult this is.


  5. Jackie says:

    Beautiful, touching words-such a hard story to write as well as read but an important one to share. My heart breaks with yours (Nan is a friend). Still praying for your family as you walk this journey that no one ever wants to walk.


  6. Angela Riggs says:

    I continue to pray for your entire family and ask God to give you strength to get through this! My heart breaks for all of you!


  7. Lois says:

    Through your pain you are giving us such an important message. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Thank you so much for sharing.



    My prayers still with you and your family and this is so beautiful and touching. Thank you for the message of Hope and Faith.Claudia E.Bustamante


  9. RB says:

    Kelli you have shared the interior of your heart. I know that this entire process has and will change your life forever. This also changed mine. I will forever have Lindsay ever present in my mind . She was one of my daughters most loved friends . There were such similarities about them that even I didn’t know until recently. This would be inspirational if we never knew her before but since we did, it feels more like a family member is gone. She is not gone .. She’s here. I believe she knows each time her name is mentioned and hopes it is only happy thoughts we have of her. The ladybugs .. Lol makes me laugh everyday! Jarret is amazing! My new heros are : Kellie , Brad . Kelli .Brett, Jarret, and most of all Lindsay! You have all my respect… Love you from the bottom of my heart! .. Wow! Love R Blackburn


  10. Loraine Scalamoni says:

    Thank you for having the strength for the telling of your story..a clearly beautiful young life taken too early..live, peace of mind, love and positivity sent to you all. I am so truly sorry for your loss…


  11. Linda Somberg says:

    Kelli, you, Brad, Kellie & Brett experienced what truly is any parent’s worst nightmare. But through it all, you have shared your heart and soul through your regular Facebook posts, letting us all know what to specifically pray for. I cannot tell you how much that meant to SO, SO many of us. And the fact that you continue to do so, is amazing. My daughter, Haleigh, along with all of Lindsay’s friends will forever miss Lindsay, but will always remember her beautiful smile, kind heart and loving spirit. For what it is worth, she was the most beautiful contestant on that stage back in March, and I love, love, love the picture of her and Haleigh together! I will continue to keep all of you in my heart and my prayers in the weeks and months to come…


  12. Maddy Bravo says:

    Beautifully written my friend. I so wish that we lived closer together because I would love to give you a hug. It is so hard being so far away. Just know I am always thinking about You, Lindsay, Brad and your entire families. She seemed like a wonderful young lady and was taken from this world far too young. xoxo


  13. Jennifer (RetroReclaimations.com) says:

    Powerful! I am truly sorry for the loss your family is feeling. God is by your side as I am sure you know. I commend y’all for giving others a new chance for life during such a difficult time. Brad is blessed to have a lady such as you…so kind, compassionate, & fearless. We are thinking of y’all & have added your family to our nightly prayers. I asked my Fisher if he would like to say something to you. His response, “Tell her I loved her & I will give her my best hug”. So, whenever you need that hug let me know…


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