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, February 24, 2011

the good, the bad, and the ugly

so... we are still at UK. lovely place, this hospital. except for the fact that they only have coke products, their doctors are awesome, the nurses are sweet. and the aides let you sleep through turn time.

its been a crazy week. Lance came home from georgia last thursday, he was very drowsy that night and most of friday. then became very restless friday night and saturday morning. By saturday evening he was downright agitated. we couldn't decide if this was the agitation phase of coming out of the coma, that we've been so excited to see... or pain. unfortunately, it was pain. so on Sunday evening, he was taken to flemingsburg hospital. he was admitted for further observation, he had cat scans and ultrasounds to rule out pulmonary embolisms and kidney stones. everyone there was awesome... the xray girls knew Lance's whole story. and are now sporting Live the Lion bracelets. Its nice to be from a small town.
one of the hardest things was to see him in pain and know that he couldn't tell you what was hurting him. Even though he has had multiple surgeries, i had never seen him hurt that much. he stayed at flemingsburg again on monday night, and on tuesday morning, a small bowel obstruction was confirmed. he was then transferred back to UK, in case he needed surgery.

here's the good...
this afternoon they determined that after emptying the belly, the obstruction seemed to have resolved itself. he doesn't seem to be close to the amount of pain he was in the yesterday, but they are still giving him pain medicine. they will repeat another scan tomorrow and if all looks good, they will begin to feed him again and see if the obstruction reappears.

here's the bad...
he has pneumonia. before the accident, Lance was in great shape. with all of his running and biking, his lungs were in excellent condition. i'm guessing that since this pneumonia has come up in the last few days because of him not moving around as much as he had been. while at shepherd and the 2 full days he was at home, we had him up in the wheelchair, doing exercises. also, since he left shepherd, he hasn't been doing all the pedaling on the FES bike. his trach that has been plugged for 3 weeks is now unplugged, with oxygen. his oxygen saturation has stayed good this evening since i've been here. antibiotics have been started. he cough is getting stronger, something we had hoped for so the trach could come out. however, i don't think this is how they wanted to go about it.

here's the ugly....
UK Men's Basketball is just ugly on the road.

i had some rules for visitors when lance first came home.. unfortunately, they may be more strict now. we just want him to have the amount of rest he needs and just trying to keep everything calm and quiet in his room, especially while they are treating him here at UK.

I was able to go to the first round of the district tournament last night. Congrats Lions!
one of my good friends is from Greenup County, so i was sitting on the visitors side... i know... my mom has already warned me never to do that again. Anyway, as I looked across the gym to our fans, I saw this huge sign hanging by Mr. Voiles and the Lewis County Band of Pride.

also, i had mentioned earlier that we were going to be ordering more Dance 4 Lance t-shirts this week. With all that has been going on, I haven't gotten to it yet. So, if you still want one, just email me The shirts are red, with black lettering. $10 each. you can get any size from 6mos to 5X. 


  1. To Lance, My heart is with you and I pray you get better. You were and are a great kid with incredible strength. Live the Lion.
    To the family, I have three children of my own and can't imagine the pain you are feeling. You are great parents, brother and sister. Hang in there. God know best.

  2. Glad they found the cause of Lance's pain and it was taken care of quickly. It must have been so frustrating for all of you not understanding what was wrong and him not being able to tell you. This is just a minor set-back and I'm sure you have learned more valuable lessons on his treatment and exercise. Each day has been a learning experience hasn't it? Stay strong Lance. Many prayers are being said daily for all of you. "Live the Lion".

  3. Speaking of ugly...we moved away from Fayetteville, AR, home of the hogs, when Ian was about 5, moving to Lexington. It took us a long time to get Ian to stop "calling the hogs!" We still tease him occasionally for choosing to root for a school with Arkansas colors! But it was there that he met Lance and we're honored to be praying and cheering Lance on in his latest race.
    Cindy McArtor