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.


Thursday, January 13, 2011

January in the Arclantic

Lance is a Louisville Cardinal fan…He enrolled at UofL in the fall of 2004 and graduated in the spring of 2008 with a degree in Classic Languages and History. He was in the marching band, playing saxophone his entire four years. He loved it. There are not that many Louisville fans around Eastern Kentucky. Most of them bleed blue. So, I was not at all surprised when I heard the news of some friends from Lewis County making the trip to see UK play at UGA.
However, I know the real reason for traveling to Georgia was to see Lance.

McGlones: This group of people would travel anywhere to see UK play. They would also travel anywhere to see my brother. 

Buffalo Trails sponsors a race every year in Maysville. You can participate in the triathlon, duathlon, or 5k. This past year, Lance and Chris decided to do the duathlon together. Chris would ride the bike and Lance would do the running.  They called themselves Team O'Glone. I couldn't find their times for the race, but I'm sure it was amazing... just look at those two :)

Jean: I had some rules when I knew that we were going to have lots of visitors, so that we wouldn't over stimulate Lance. One of the rules was that Jean couldn't make me cry. She has a very tender heart and watching her sit by Lance's bed and hold his hand makes me tear up. She has made us some wonderful goodies since we have been hanging out at hospitals. She's a lovely cook. Unfortunately, Lance and Jean didn't pose for many pictures together. There is time for that in the future. 

Lance and Megan go way back. 

They are the same age, so they have grown up together. The summer before the 4th grade, they wanted to go to Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama. On the way, they stopped at the National Corvette Museum. This is one of my favorite pictures. It even features little Alex. 
Lance and Megan were both in the Lewis County Band of Pride Marching and Pep Band. They attended the same church, KUNA events, and graduated high school together in 2004. 

Ben is another person that holds many roles for the O'Cull family. Ben was in band with Lance when they were in high school. Ben was Lance 's chauffeur to and from band practice for years. Since high school, they have remained very close. Ben has become one of my very best friends. I don't know what I would do without him. He keeps me in check. He has recently moved into the house in front of my mom's, which makes him part of the family.  Ben also attends church with my dad and had recently talked about playing a little music with him. Since Lance's accident, he has taken care of my mom's house and dogs. He has driven both our cars to Lexington. He has picked out clothes, Yes, he has… and taken extra stuff home.  Ben's been a life saver to us. 

We have received a lot of emails from friends and family, but Becky's was absolutely the funniest I have read so far. Becky was our next door neighbor when we lived in Meadowbrook. When I was younger,  I would flee over to Becky's when things didn't go my way. Lance did the same thing. I actually got a picture of Becky at the hospital, but Ben caught her napping on the way back to KY and send it to me. I found it much more humorous.

Before we moved to Clarksburg, my family lived in Meadowbrook. My good friend, Ashley Lance Cooper lived right around the block. He is currently enrolled at the Sherman School of Chiropractic in South Carolina. Which is only a 2 1/2 hour drive from Atlanta. He was able to come and visit us this past Saturday. A couple weeks ago, when I learned what weekend Ashley would be coming, I told him he could go with us to the UK game. He agreed. One day this past week, Ashley called me and said, CHELCEE! this game is in Alabama! I don't think I can drive to the Alabama.
He was a little confused. He thought we were going to the UK's bowl game. Instead of the basketball game against UGA the same day. So, as a joke, Ashley brought his UK football snuggie that he would have worn to the football game.
:) He's the best. I am very fortunate to have such amazing friends. 

Brock stayed with Lance, while the eight of us traveled to Athens to watch Coach Calipari and the Kentucky Wildcats play the University of Georgia Bulldogs. It wasn't the best game. In fact, it was a horrible game. But there was good food and good friends, and all of us were wearing blue. 

The title is January in the Arclantic. Credit to Brock, for coming up with that one. I'm sure some of you have seen on the news that Atlanta is in quite the situation with the snow. Or as the locals call it, THE BLIZZARD. I assure you, we are not in a blizzard, not even an ice storm. Not by Kentucky standards anyway. There has been snow and yes, there has been some ice. Here is the problem: No snow plows, no salt trucks, and no one knows how to drive in these conditions. But I digress. 

This has turned out to be an extremely long update... I apologize. 

Sometimes I feel like I type a lot about what is going on with Lance physically, and while I want to keep everyone updated, I know that there are many of you who are reading this and don't really know Lance. So, thats when I try to incorporate who Lance is and who we are as a family. I've done that a lot the last couple days... So here is the nitty gritty on my baby brother. (He hates when I call him that)

All casts are off! So thankful for that. The therapists have made the casts that were on Lance's arms and legs into splints and he has to wear those at night. But at least, his limbs are free during the day. 
He was on his stomach for 45 minutes today. This is a big deal around here. He tolerated it very well. He held his head up almost the entire time. 
The physical therapist also tried some electrical stimulation today on Lance's right leg. She was thrilled with how he responded to it. 
With his pelvic fracture and the nature of the surgery, he won't be weight bearing for another couple of weeks. They are trying to get his legs into the best shape for when he is able to stand on them. 
Because of the snow, Lance's regular speech therapist hasn't been able to make it in. Today, we had a fill in. She gave Lance some ice and told him to look at his sister. I had to speak to get him to look up at my face. But I think he could follow my voice and knew it was me. She also found him a small set of bongo drums. Brock played them this evening. Lance studies them, but hasn't made an attempt to play them... yet. 

I think that's all for now. As always, keep the prayers coming. And remember, Shannon in your prayers as well. Two days ago, she was able to move out of ICU and into a regular room. Hopefully, tomorrow I will have more of an update on her progress!

1 comment:

  1. My name is Whittney Tillman and Lance and I came into the U of L Marching Band together in 2004.
    Since Facebook is a rapidly growing social network the number of friends that I have on the site continue to grow, some of the people we first friended back in 2005 (seems like forever ago, now) when Facebook first started, kind of get lost in the shuffle. Lance just happened to be one of those people. Facebook is always posting some news about this person or another, so to see a status from our Band director Dr. Byrne @ the University of Louisville about a student is not out of the ordinary. When I read exactly what the status said I was completely shocked. The status said: Planning a trip to Atlanta to visit a former student in a coma. I believe in the power of prayer. Please pray for Lance O'Cull.I remember Lance just like it was yesterday and was so sad to think of him hurt. I just wanted to comment on this blog and let his family know that his U of L marching Band family has him and you guys in their prayers. Lance always made the sometimes tedious and difficult times of Marching band so much fun! I wish him a speedy and successful recovery because we all know that any and everything is possible through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!!!

    Much Love,
    Whittney Tillman
    University of Louisville Marching Band Alumni