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.


Sunday, February 6, 2011

Not So Far Away

Funny how the 450 miles from Black Oak driveway to the Shepherd Center has become the Saturday outing....and it seems to be not so far away anymore.  The miles go faster when one is traveling toward Lance with the anticipation of seeing him; traveling north, knowing you will not see and touch him for a few days, is the most difficult direction to travel.  Yesterday the miles went by so fast and I thank all who continue to help and accompany us through this chapter of life.  The prayers that have been lifted for traveling safety have been bountiful and, to date, all travelers have had safe journeys.

Also as Gena and I maneuvered up I-75 yesterday, we knew that many were gathering at Lewis County Central to Dance 4 Lance.  Wow, what a wonderful combination of planning, hard work, big hearts, fellowship, sweating, exercising, and very generous giving - all to show support for Lance.  I cannot wait for him to understand, see pictures, and read about the event - he will be so humbled and so grateful, as we are.  Thank you so much; we are currently shopping for a wheelchair acessible van for Lance and that is how the donations will be used.

Also phone calls and messages from friends and family continue to encourage us.  I feel that my family is so much larger now - as I blogged about the community of the Kingdom of God last week and as I have become better acquainted with Lance's circle of friends.  This morning in a church in Blacksburg, Virginia where Dick Gilbert worships, a time of prayer for Lance will be a part of their service.  So this morning at 11:15 AM Jill will sit beside Lance as he sits in his wheelchair, knowing that God is being petitioned yet again for his healing.  I am thankful for each of these loving prayers - each and every time that God has been asked to keep Lance alive, to carry him through surgeries, to guard him from pain and infection, to restore him by performing a miracle of healing of nerve and bone and muscle and brain tissue.

I am thankful for friendships forged and lessons learned as we go through valleys - shoulder to shoulder - as Ted and I have during recent weeks.  Part of travel yesterday was a phone call with him as we celebrated Shannon's outing and cooking and overall progress during her stay at Cardinal Hill.  We have a new perspective on Psalms 56:8, "You keep track of my sorrows.  You have collected my tears in your bottle.  You have recorded each one in your book."  Sometimes we get a very clear vision of God throught he tear-filled eyes of brokenness.

Today marks 10 weeks since Lance's accident, 10 weeks since we have seen his smile or felt his hugs.  I miss him terribly and I know you do as well.  He has made great strides but has a long road ahead.  He is so blessed to have many with him on this adventure. He will have a quiet weekend with no therapy, time for extra rest and to prepare for the busy week ahead.  Thanks to all of you for holding him close in your hearts; I know, by your love, he is never far away.


PS-more later from Chelcee  


  1. First of all I don't know if I could ever convey to you the feeling in that gymnasium yesterday evening. It was such an awesome feeling of togetherness! You could just feel the energy the willingness and the want to help out! I think as Kayvilla put it everyone was giving extra effort and I know it was all for lance it was as if we were dancing to help make him better! and if dancing could do it well he would be well on his way. It was Truly a "Dance for Lance". Since we know we can't Dance him better we must all keep praying and hoping Gods plan for him will soon be known and you all will be able to talk with him and hug with him and know him as you did. If he could only know the vast multitudes of people who are out here praying for him and you all his family he would be astounded! I can only imagine how you all feel in the travels it does seem so much shorter when your going to them I have felt this many times going to visit my son and coming home seems twice as far. We all pray for the safety of your travels. I was thinking about the wheelchair accessible van , just an idea, sometimes they have some on ebay motors may be one place to look. I know with trying to keep up at work and traveling it leaves little time to get out and look. I wish you the best of luck in finding something suitable for him and I think that is a wonderful thing to do with the dance for lance proceeds! God bless you all and keep you safe!

  2. John, Jim looked up this link and ask me to share it with you just in case you wanted to check it out.hope it works, if not I'm sure you can just go to ebay handicap vans‏.

  3. a girl I work with bought a van and had it converted to fit her wheel chair needs. voc. rehab helped her identify what was needed. of course, she has been able to work.

  4. I am so glad that Holly and I were able to attend the Dance 4 Lance. It was awesome to see the outpouring of love and support for Lance and his family. I hadn't see Chelcee or Brock since December, and I nearly hugged the stuffing out of them both. It was especially hard to let go of Brock. We spent a lot of time together over the years, and I grew very fond of him and Lance. I can't wait until I can hug the stuffing out of Lance as well. BTW, I don't zumba...Holly did the dancing for both of us. I spent most of the evening talking with Marlene. What a wonderful lady. Ted