For those of you that did not know Lindsay, we would like to try and introduce her to you. We will try to let you know who she was, what she dreamed and how we, her family, and the wonderful people at NHRMC and Carolina Donor Services helped make those dreams come true. Our problem is where to begin. We always knew in our hearts she was going to accomplish great and amazing things. She was headstrong and tenacious young lady and had her entire life planned out. Lindsay was a rising senior at Wilmington Christian Academy and was to be co-captain of the Lady Patriots cheer squad, a sport she loved dearly. She loved art, especially painting, and she had won several awards for her works. She was an avid photographer and dearly loved her guinea pigs.
She would get so excited every year about volunteering for 2 events. The first being, Patriots for Pink, a fun day of Volleyball and Soccer games with all proceeds from entry fees, concession stand and t-shirt sales going to Going Beyond the Pink, an amazing local financial assistance program to help families burdened by the cost of breast cancer. The second being Farm Fest, a field day WCA coordinates with New Hanover County Special Olympics, she truly loved working with the athletes and seeing the look on their faces when they accomplished an event. We like to believe that is where she learned that whether you come in first or last, as long as you give everything you have, you will always be a winner.
Lindsay had always wanted to be in the medical field, but could never pin point what she wanted to concentrate on. After attending the National Youth Leadership Forum for Medicine the summer of 2016, she had made up her mind. I remember like it was yesterday, “I want to be a trauma surgeon and save lives," she said. Please remember this.
Sunday, August 21, 2016 is a day we will never forget, this was the day of Lindsay’s accident. She was struck by an oncoming SUV while leaving our neighborhood. She was on her way to meet a friend for dinner on her last night before starting her senior year. A year she had dreamed about, a year she had waited so long for, a year she will never get to finish. As our family gathered at the hospital, we held on with faith that Lindsay was going to be okay. So many scenarios run through you mind...bumps, bruises, stitches, maybe a broken bone...never, in our deepest fears, did we expect to hear “blunt force trauma to the skull to the point of shifting the brain." Every ounce of every part of your being leaves your body, you are numb and trying to make sense of what you just heard. This began the longest week of our family’s life. A week that would see so many tears, prayers, sleepless nights and the most devastating decisions we, as a family, would ever have to make. The outpouring of love from so many people was overwhelming, from near and far the love continued to pour in. Along with Lindsay, the true heroes of the week were the entire staff of the STICU at NHRMC.
On Saturday, August the 27th, we, as a family, knew Lindsay was telling us it was time. Her body was beginning to let go, it was almost like she was making the decision for us because she knew we couldn’t. This is when Carolina Donor Services came into our lives. For you see, at the age of 16, Lindsay made the conscious decision to be an organ donor. She made a choice to donate her gifts of life to carry on life for someone else. The compassion and care that Carolina Donor Services showed us can never be put into words. Every step of the process was explained in detail. Our Family Services Coordinator was by our side every step of the way, whether it was to answer a heartbreaking question or just be there to hold our hand. Every person we came into contact with at Carolina Donor Services showed our entire family nothing but love, kindness and respect. The phrase “gifts of life” is so true, and that is what was said each time donation was mentioned. Lindsay had a dream to save lives, how ironic she would fulfill this dream by donating her gifts.
This is why we are so passionate about the LMBF Cheer, Art and Scholarship Fund at WCA, Going Beyond the Pink through Patriots for Pink, Farm Fest organized by WCA for the NHC Special Olympics, and Carolina Donor Services,
and why we ask you to please join the Lindsay M. Benton Foundation in continuing Lindsay’s legacy along with her dream to save lives.