A New Kidney with Minutes to Spare

Media Resources

Bob Hallinan

Executive Producer

Office: (913) 588-7284

Cell: (913)-481-7329



          Kristy Benton has never been in trouble before. So when a deputy from the Henry County Sheriff’s department started banging on the door of her house in the small town of Calhoun, Missouri, she was so scared she almost didn’t answer. It’s a good thing she did.

            Benton needed a kidney…she’s been on dialysis for the last two and a half years, and on the transplant waiting list at The University of Kansas Health System. Her particular illness meant only one percent of available kidneys would be a match. So she had to be ready at a moment’s notice to make the 90-minute drive to the hospital in case she got the call saying one had been found.

            What Benton didn’t know is that a storm had knocked out her cell service…and the signal booster she had in her home. She couldn’t get any calls. It was just at that time that the hospital’s transplant coordinators tried calling her to say they finally found a match. They only had one hour to accept the kidney or let it go to another patient at another hospital. It could take months or even years before another rare match for Benton was found. Frantically, and with the clock ticking, the transplant team tried everything they could think of to reach her. Finally, they called the Henry County Sheriff, who immediately dispatched deputy Chase Curl to Benton’s house with the good news. He quickly handed Benton his phone and with just minutes to spare, she was able to accept the kidney.

            The next day, Benton successfully underwent the transplant, and could already feel the difference the day after that. She’s thrilled at not having to undergo dialysis, and in six months, she may be a candidate for a pancreas transplant, which would eliminate her diabetes as well.

            In the video Kristy Benton talks about her medical problems, and what it was like waiting for a kidney. She also describes her panic at having a deputy at her door, but how she’s so glad he came and that she answered the door. She describes what it’s like for her now and what the future holds for her.

            Also on the video, Paige Johnson and Jaime Bartley with the transplant team describe the efforts they made to reach Benton within the one hour deadline. Chase Curl, a Henry County Sheriff’s deputy, describes what it was like getting a call unlike any he’s ever had, how he rushed to Benton’s house, and the satisfaction he had in helping the successful transplant take place.

            The video also includes b-roll from Benton’s house in Calhoun, Missouri, a remote community northeast of Clinton.