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, April 29, 2011
Yesterday, April 28th, marked the 5th month anniversary since Lance was injured. Sunday, November 28th; I'll not soon forget that day. It was the longest...and worst day of my life. Bad memory! In the wee hours of the 29th, as we sat tired and numb in a Chandler Medical Center waiting room, I recalled great moments with Lance. I savored his smile and his hugs but confidently knew that if his life were to end tonight in this hospital, he would be moving to a better place - an eternity with God.
Today, we are once again in Lexington, preparing to spend the night at UK Chandler Med Center. Lance has had a restless week; we watched him closely each day hoping that this was just some "emerging" behavior. Yesterday evening he was so engaged, so interactive, as we helped him prepare for the night. It seemed he would break out in conversation any second. I held my breath a couple of times as he was obviously trying to verbally share thoughts that were in his mind. I went to bed thinking "Tomorrow we may make some memories in this recovery process!"
Gena and I checked on him first thing, as we do each morning. We found him sweating profusely, even though house temperature was about 66 degrees. Then, as we attempted to cool him down, something happened for first time. Lance experienced a seizure. It ended a long 90 seconds later; we heaved a collective sigh of relief. However a few moments later, the seizure activity started again. We called ambulance and Chelcee helped as we prepared for quick departure. I rode in the ambulance to Fleming County Hospital where we were greeted by friends and wonderful health care workers led by a very caring man named Dr. Carrera. Enroute the medical crew, Brent and Larry, took great care of Lance. After stabilizing him there and running some diagnostic tests, he was transferred to our current location. Another fine paramedic, William, provided the hands on care in the transport ambulance.
Lance has been treated in the ER since our arrival. This is where he will be treatd overnight; the remodeled ER is very nice and the staff has been wonderful to Lance and to us. His room is more like an ICU room than a typical ER room The seizure activity stopped with medicines; he has EEG leads in place to continuously monitor brain activity overnight. Since this was a serious first time event, neurology has been very proactive in trying to get answers. A lumbar puncture was done to collect cerebrospinal fluid and test for meningitis. Clinical appearance of the fluid was favorable but final determination will be made with lab work/cultures. In the meantime he is being treated prophylacticaly with antibiotics. Also, Lance was intubated and is being breathing assisted with a ventilator. This sounds scary but should be a short term treatment with the expressed intent of monitoring brain activity while keeping him sedated and totally seizure free after having much seizure activity since the day began.
As I conclude tonight, I am humbled by each of you, your prayers, and memories......your memories that continue to keep Lance presented to God daily in prayer. I thank you and challenge you to make a memory with someone you love. Don't delay.