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.


Saturday, January 8, 2011

prayer service for Shannon. Sunday, at 6pm at Fly Branch Church of Christ

Lance has been in room 316 since he has arrived at Shepherd. Today we moved to room 315.
When I hear 316, I immediately think of John 3:16. So, now I'll start one verse ahead of that. 
John 3:15 reads, "that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him"

315 is a private room. We can have better control over noise and temperature. And its closer to our new friend, Hudson Myers, who is also a patient here. 

Lance has tried some orange juice and did very well. He also tried some chocolate ice cream, however he was very sleepy and it didn't go over as well as we would have hoped. He is still getting up in the wheelchair everyday for about 5-6 hours. They took the cast off of his left arm and they are letting it rest for a couple days. It has already straightened out so much. His right arm is now in a cast, and he has a new one of his right foot. its purple. He won't like that at all. 

We have quite a bit of Eastern Kentucky in the Shepherd Center this weekend! I'll update more on that in the next blog. 

One of my favorite times of the day is when the mail man comes. Since I posted the link on how to email Lance.. WOW, we have gotten tons of emails. Thanks so much. Words of encouragement are always what we need. Hearing from people that we don't even know is blowing my mind everyday. And I love to read from Lance's friends. The friends I didn't know, reading about how they knew him and what they had done together... remarkable. 
so, Thank you!

This evening my dad's phone rang and it was Ted Gilbert. I was soooo glad that I was able to talk to him for a few minutes. He asked about Lance and then gave me some awesome news about Shannon:

We are absolutely thrilled with Shannon's progress today.  First, we were expecting it to take two or three days to wean her off the ventilator, but she did so well that they just shut it off this morning.  She is breathing entirely on her own.  She is also very responsive today, and will reach up and take someone's hand on command.  They moved her to a chair for about 90 minutes this afternoon.  She seemed to like the chair a lot, and was extremely active.  One of the highlights came when we showed her a necklace Holly bought for her, and she was stomping both feet.  We figure she really liked the necklace!

We are so thankful for all the prayers, and give God all the praise and glory for Shannon's continued improvement.  Please remember the community prayer service this Sunday at 6:00 p.m. at Fly Branch Church of Christ in Vanceburg.  If you can't attend, please say a special prayer for Shannon during that time.

I talked to John O'Cull this afternoon, and Lance is also getting a little stronger every day.  I told John that I know their family wants to be with us the same as we want to be with them, but circumstances are just not allowing it.  But I know John is sitting right beside me and I am right beside him as we go through this together.  You can get updates on Lance at  Thanks so much for your prayers and words of comfort and support.


If you are able to go to prayer service for Shannon on Sunday, please do. If you can't say a prayer during that time. We will be praying in Atlanta for her. 
Vanceburg had a special prayer service for Lance on the Sunday before Christmas. My Dad, my Mom, Gena, Brock and I were able to stand around Lance's bed and be in prayer the same time that many of our friends and family were gathering in Vanceburg in prayer. That evening we saw some amazing things happen. He seems to be connecting with us more than he ever had. There is power in prayer. 

God Bless!



  1. I am so happy to hear good news from both fronts!! Lance and Shannon! Made my day! Its always puts a smile on my face to hear the good things and usually a tear too not because I am sad but happy and also very compassionate for all your family members waiting to see them whole again. My heart is Joyful tonight and hopeful for your all! I can envision the prayer circle around them both and the prayers and energy going up to bring blessings for them both! The support behind these two young people from family, friends and strangers as well is totally amazing! Renews ones faith in our people! Together we all can make a difference! Not a day goes by that I do not think of you all in your struggles as well as Lance and Shannon. I keep thinking what if I was in your place how I would feel or react. I pray I nor any other family will have to ever endure what you all are going through right now. I see a very strong family and that support has been vital to each step Lance has taken. Shannon is also blessed with a supportive family and friend network. May God continue to hold and comfort all of you......

  2. I couldn't wait to get on here today. It truly is a blessing to me to be able to read how Lance is doing.Still praying for all of you and for your safe travels.

  3. We are so happy to hear of Lance's progress, our family can't wait to read your posts everynight, we miss you and are praying for more miracles. We will be at the pray service for Shannon tonight. Pray without ceasing.
    Love you all...from The Blackoak Bottom Family.