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.


Friday, February 11, 2011

i and love and you

ok guys.. i'm at work tonight, so my thoughts may be a bit scattered as i write this... here it goes:

1. Dance 4 Lance!  A huge success. There were approximately 106 people who came to Central Elementary to dance for Lance. or at least watch the dancing that took place in the gym. The very generous Dancers for Lancer gave $2326! Amazing. We are forever gracious for the outpouring of love and generousity of our community.
Big thanks to everyone that helped with the zumbathon. I'm sorry if I leave anyone out... Kayla Willis, for coming up with the idea, the name and helping with the planning. Grace Bentley, Penny Liles, Betty Poynter for being the Zumba instructors. Karen Killen, for helping with advertisement. Sue Lykins, for hard work on organizing the t-shirts. Tara Collins and Becky Sullivan who were on bracelet duty. :)
Also... we are especially grateful to Jamie Christy who donated tshirts and made us several more. The design is wonderful. Impact Designs is the bomb!

2. the t-shirts...
we can order more! my good friend, Tara Lewis Collins is helping me with the ordering of the shirts. They are red with black lettering, Dance 4 Lance on the front. and Isaiah 40:28-31 on the back. We can order up to a 5X and as small as an infant, 6 months. They are $10. If you would like to order one, you can email Tara at with the size you need. If you wish you mail a check, you can send that to Tara Collins, 15 Spencer Street, Vanceburg KY 41179. All orders need to be in by Monday Feb 21st.

3. the bracelets...
apparently, the bracelets have been caught in the ice and snow storm. They have promised me they will arrive tomorrow. So, if you have requested one and haven't gotten it, I apologize... as soon as they arrive, they will be distributed.

4. Because Lance will be coming home next week, his simple email system at the Shepherd Center will no longer be available. I have set up another email account.
Everyone is welcome to email this address. Whether you knew Lance or not, have an encouraging story or just a joke you think he would enjoy. We will print them out and read them to him.

5. I went to see Shannon Gilbert at Cardinal Hill on Wednesday. She looks so incredible. Its amazing to see how prayer has worked to heal Shannon so quickly. She actually gets to come home on Tuesday! While I was talking to her and her parents, she realized it was time for therapy. So, she put her helmet on, jumped right up and walked down the hall to her therapy session.

6. The speech therapist has been working with Lance to position his lips and tongue to make sounds. We have all heard some noises, although its not coherent yet, we have hope. My dad witnessed that he can mouth a word, like 'Bye'. On Wednesday, when I was talking to Lance on the phone, I told him that I loved him. When Mom took the phone back, she was very quiet. Then she told me. He had mouthed three words. I and Love and You.  =)
I'm so very excited to see my brother!

7. Lance was able to get on the tilt table again this week and did very well. He rode the bike for 4.5 miles! He is showing some signs of agitation when it comes to the casts. He doesn't like them. At all. Mom said he was almost pouting. Mom also had a pep talk with him about his swallowing. She thinks he did a lot better with chewing the ice and then swallowing after that.

As always, thanks for the prayers and the continued support from our family, friends, community and new followers of the blog. We are so very grateful!



  1. I am so glad the "Dance for Lance" was such a success! We were all happy to help! I am thrilled that Lance is mouthing the words and I am sure your mom was just so shocked and happy at the same time she could hardly speak! It won't be long now I am sure til you can hear him say those words out loud and we pray that it happens very very soon! Sounds like the weather is gonna warm up just for Lance and Shannon's journey home!! As always Lance, Shannon and families are in our thoughts and prayers!

    Karen Killen

  2. Ok, I'll try this again. Sorry if it double posts! Anyway, how about putting a FAMILY SNAIL MAIL ADDRESS on the blog so folks can mail donations if so inclined? Our check will be first in the mail as soon as you give us the address! Continued prayers and well wishes for Lance and your entire family. As our 4 year old says.......I KNOW HE CAN DO THIS!!