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.


Monday, March 28, 2011

i know, i know... its been a while!

i've been a slacker blogger. i apologize.
busy days, sleepless nights, and crazy schedules equals not much time for blogging.

Lance is doing wonderful!
Most of you remember from our postings when Lance was still in Atlanta, he was moving his right hand quite a bit and his facial expressions were more pronounced than ever. However, when Lance was readmitted to UK a couple weeks ago, all of those things ceased. Lance's therapists assured us that if he did it before, he will do it again. So... we had to be patient, and let him rest.
Finally, this week we think that he is where he was before, and possibly even succeeded.
He can mimic the frown face on demand. I can't make the frown face very well, but when he looks at me, he crinkles his nose up. He has also given us a couple smiles. Not as big as they were before, but its an improvement. Lance is also moving his hand a little bit more. Saturday evening, I had him hold up one finger, then two, then three.
In early January, I started writing to him on a small dry erase board because I was convinced he could read. Knowing Lance, it only makes sense that he would read before he talks. I have a feeling he may even write before he talks. That was second nature to him.
Three of Lance's friends went in together and bought him a pretty sweet birthday present. An iPad. We've been downloading apps to help him in his communication. I also found some music apps, a piano and bongo drums. Thank you Ben, Derrick and Noah! If anyone has any information on more apps that we could use to help him, please let us know!
Brock was on spring break last week, Lance responds really well to him. He was able to get Lance to form some words with his mouth, even though no sounds are coming out, I think he is trying to talk to us.

The most exciting thing is that we haven't had to use the Hoyer lift to get Lance in and out of bed in a week! He is transferring with just one person. Its much easier on him to not put him up in the lift all the time. His legs are getting much stronger, and he is putting weight on the left leg. Which we have been so worried about. Today when I put him back in bed, he was reaching his right arm around my back.
He is still wearing the splints at nights, which causes nights to be restless. They will help the tone in his arms, so we want to keep them on as much as he can stand it.
His trach site is getting smaller every day. I don't think he will need any further medical treatment for it. Just covering the opening with a small piece of tape.

A huge thanks to everyone who has called and brought food and sent cards. We really appreciate all thoughts and prayers. Its awesome to be a part of a small town!

I will try my best to be better at updating.



  1. It's a great way to end my day by reading your update. I am so glad I was still up!!
    Give my best to all and Lance is always in my prayers.

  2. Chelcee...

    Incredible report! To God be the continued glory for GREAT things HE has done, is doing, and will do!!! I am calling Gena this week.... Was it lance's bday today?????????

  3. Awesome report ! God is doing marvelous work with Lance and everyone around him. Still praying for Lance and his family and helpers. Hugs to all. Gina

  4. Last night I checked for update around 11:15 p.m. and nothing new, but what a surprise this morning. I rejoice in the news. My mind goes back 5 years when we experienced a similar situation with Danny. I remember knowing he could read before he was able to talk, I would stand facing him and make faces so he would imitate, some times better than others and I am very happy for Lance. I know it will be long journey but the Lord is with him and with the rest of the family. I thank the Lord, I see one more time His hand at work! He is awesome. Praying for Lance's return to Shepherd.

  5. Perhaps the lack of posts keeps us praying more diligently! ;)

  6. So glad to hear that Lance is improving! Great news!!!!

  7. What great news that Lance is improving! Thanks for the update Chelcee.