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, January 25, 2011

its been a couple days...

1. Lance's mailing address is now located on the right hand side of the blog. A link to email him is also available. Please feel free to email him, even if you don't know him that well. We love reading stories of how people came across the blog.

2. DANCE FOR LANCE! If you are into Zumba, there is going to be a zumbathon in Lewis County on Saturday, February the 5th. If you aren't into Zumba... come anyway. I think it will be a good time. More information to come as soon as times are set.

3. Shannon Gilbert! Shannon is now at Cardinal Hill. She is up walking, and is talking more and more each day. She actually spoke to my dad on the phone last Friday. We are so excited. I plan to go visit her this week. 

4. Lance will definitely be in Atlanta until February the 3rd. Prior to that date, we will have another family conference where we will learn what the team (made up of Lance's doctors, nurses, and therapists) thinks is his best course of treatment. He may be ready for therapy at that time, he may be granted an extension of the PREP level. Or he may come home to Kentucky. Should that happen, we will be waiting and watching for him to completely emerge out of his unconsciousness state. Tentatively, once he has emerged he will go back to the Shepherd Center for his therapy. Like, I said... tentatively, we are taking this one day at at a time. 

5. Dad mentioned in his blog last week that Lance had been making some noises since his trach had been capped. Mom said that when she put the guitar in front of him yesterday, he was a distinctively different sound. Lance will also wave... his friend, Mary and her mom came to see him last weekend, when they were leaving, Lance waved to them. He is also reaching out for the phone when mom tells him someone wants to talk to him. 

6. Some of my friends have been telling me that they couldn't leave comments on the blog unless they were signed in. I think that I have fixed that. Everyone should now be able to leave us a comment without having a username. Hope this helps!

7. We have Live the Lion bracelets.
They are red eco-friendly rubber bracelets. One side says LIVE THE LION and the other, Isaiah 40:28-31. That scripture has been printed on cards we have received, written on the inside of others, scribbled on a scrap piece of paper, sent in text messages, posted on facebook, left on voicemails and even embroidered on a quilt since Lance's accident. If you don't know it, I encourage you to look it up.
If you want a bracelet, please let me know and I'll do my best to get it to you soon. And a HUGE thanks to Shauna and Deah for purchasing the bracelets! 
We want everyone to feel connected, to know that we appreciate your prayers, and to remind you not live everyday as a sheep, but as a Lion.



  1. Wonderful news with each update. Thanks for the links on how to send messages to Lance. Will the bracelets be available for local pickup in V'burg? I would love to wear one with pride and honor for Lance. Eric, my son, wasn't as lucky when he had his accident in 1997. God needed him in Heaven; but, God still has many plans for Lance here on earth. Prayers are being answered for both Lance and Shannon. Thanks for keeping us updated and thanks to you and your family for sharing Lance with us through your posts.

  2. Thanks Chelcee for the update. I am sharing the blog with many church members. We are praying for Lance and Shannon and know that God has done so much for them and continues to help them. Please give everyone a hug for me.

  3. Lance and the rest of the family are continually in our thoughts and prayers. It is so great to read about his improvements, so thank you for keeping everyone updated. Let us know how we can get a bracelet; Aaron and I will definitely wear them!

  4. I am so happy to hear Lances progress!! I am excited about the zumbathon! This is a way a lot of people who want to help can do just that! I hope how soon Lance and you all get to return to Kentucky! I do want a bracelet! You could probably sale them if you wanted to even at the "Dance for lance" just a thought. I know I would be more then happy to buy one! Tell Lance were all praying for him and we know he is strong! and his support reaches far and wide and right up to the heavens!!!
    Karen Killen

  5. I check this blog every day to see how God is working in and through Lance. I praise God along side you as I read each new thing that Lance can do. Lances strength and the strength of your family is such an awesome testimony to the greatness of our God.
    I was wondering how is Lance now scoring on the coma rating scales.
    Love and prayers to all the family,
    Heather Peek Browning

  6. Thank you, thank you, thank you, for this blog. My wife Laura and I check the blog everyday and we pray as a family for Lance. My daughter Teresa prays for Lance at bedtime. This blog has increased our faith in God. Thank you so much!
    Tim Donaldson, Louisville

  7. Chelcee I would love a couple of the bracelets if possible for my husband and myself. If you can't mail them to us maybe we could make other arrangements but here is our addy, thanks:
    Glenda Bloomfield
    468 Indian Hills CIR
    Vanceburg, Ky. 41179

  8. Chelcee,
    Great big smile spreads across my face as my electronic girlfriend reads all the updates to me from my iPad. Thanks again for your dedication, diligence & determination to get Lance's information to all of us who care so much but are scattered about here, there, everywhere & even in DC!
    You mentioned a new supply of bracelets has arrived & if possible, please save a couple for Trish & myself. Just let me know what we need to do to make arrangements. Drop me an email at or give me a call. Thanks again for keeping us in the loop!

    Great talking with you, as always. Your comment about getting 18 minutes riding time brought back long ago memories; 18 minutes was my goal when I started serious therapy after the body casts and all the others came off after 20 months. Must be something magical about riding 18 minutes to a physical therapist!
    Take care,