Live the Lion was created in an attempt to keep everyone up to date on Lance O'Cull and his road to recovery.
Lance was involved in a car accident near Morehead, Kentucky about 30 miles from where we grew up Thanksgiving weekend of 2010. He was airlifted from the scene of the accident to UK Medical Center in Lexington. The doctors told us that they could fix everything below the neck, but his brain was in God's hands. On December 22, after multiple surgeries, Lance was transferred to The Shepherd Center in Atlanta, Georgia for an intense rehabilitation program.
It was there that Lance began to gradually emerge from a coma. Lance was discharged to home, in Vanceburg on February 17th, to continue his therapy with family.
On March 10th, Lance's 25th birthday, he stood on his feet for the first time in 103 days, with lots of help. On May 11th, Lance was accepted into Cardinal Hill's brain injury unit. There he impressed and amazed our family and friends, as well as his therapists through the progress he made everyday.
Between September 2011 and April of 2012, Lance was back and forth between Cardinal Hill's inpatient program and Shepherd Center's inpatient and outpatient program. He has had a couple minor surgeries to enhance his healing and a baclofen pump inserted to help with the tone in his body.
For the past year, Lance is back in Lewis County splitting his time with both parents. He continues to travel to Ashland 3 times a week and Lexington once a week. He is learning to walk again and we couldn't be more thrilled.
It hasn't been easy, Lance has had some setbacks and tears still fall. But he is up and running this marathon. And we are all running right along beside him.
Most of the blog entries have been made by myself, Chelcee, the big sister, Brock, our baby brother, and Dr. Johnny, our dad. Our goal is for Lance to finish this blog as soon as he is able.
God has been with Lance and our entire family, giving us strength. We give Him the Glory. He is the God of Miracles.
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Today was day # 30 of this unexpected path. I could never have guessed what would lie ahead as he slept on the couch - after playing guitar for worship and eating lunch - on Sunday after a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. As he slept I had caressed his head and ran my fingers through his hair, enjoying a quiet father-son moment, and thought how quickly 24 years can pass. A short time later, I helped Lance load up plastic containers full of left-overs from kitchens of the great cooks in our family. These would go into refrigerator of brother Brock and roommate Malcolm and be consumed as the semester at MSU concluded. Before he climbed in his car, we had embraced in a good-bye hug, almost toppling over as our feet were too close. Repositioning our feet in a wider stance, we renewed our hug and laughed as we squeezed one another tightly. Without voicing our thoughts, I knew we were both remembering a scene from movie "Eat, Pray, Love", which we had watched with Chelcee and Gena the previous night. The humorous scene was a loving father who kissed his 20yo son on the lips. I didn't kiss Lance, and I didn't mention the movie, but I surmised that he may have been holding me so close to minimize the risk.
A few hours later the call came that every parent fears; mine came from long-time friend John Northcutt. He shared the difficult news gently and truthfully......my heart has not been the same since. The unexpected path led to a wonderful staff and doctors at UK's Chandler Medical Center - to these folks we are so grateful. Now the path has led us to Shepherd's Center........I would never have predicted that as the destination for Christmas Day, but traveling with Gena and Chelcee, we arrived in Atlanta in time for their first white Christmas since 1882. Brock and Jill were already with Lance, as they had escorted the ambulance three days earlier.
While it was not a "Merry" Christmas, there is Joy that comes with the Advent. To know that God had the power to originate a virgin birth is comforting because that is the type of miracle power that Lance needs for healing. To know that God loves us this much.....through Christ's life and death.........is as real as the last month of feeling His love and comfort during this great sadness. This unexpected path has enabled me to see that God is bigger than I ever realized.