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.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

You Are Praying / God Is Listening / Lance Is Healing

Sorry I have been MIB(missing in blogging) but I continue to be grateful to each of you who follow the blog and pray for Lance.  He has been home for six weeks and three days and each day has been interesting as we watch....and wait, as we actively help in therapies, as we sleep intermittently, as we pray.  My admiration for care-givers grows with each passing week; it's incredible how many manpower hours it takes to provide a person the care you think he/she deserves.

Lance made two trips to Lexington doctors in past week; last Wednesday he saw Dr Karandikar at Cardianl Hill and today was seen by Dr Owen at University of Kentucky after a CT scan was done.  Both doctors gave favorable reports on his progress and noted that a full-scale inpatient rehabilitation is in future.  It is still hard to predict when he will be ready and when it may begin, but obviously, you are praying, God is listening, and Lance is healing. 

I've watched Lance take his first steps as an infant and run a marathon(one year ago this weekend).  I've listened to stories about running 1.5 miles, eating a dozen doughnuts, then running 1.5 miles to the finish line in Krispy Kreme Challenge races in North Carolina and Kentucky (he actually won the 2010 Lexington event).  Finally, after many months passed, Lance shared details of how he walked over a week on a lonely path in Turkey called Lycian Way.  He took off in August and he traveled alone, both against published recommendations.  All of these were interesting "steps in his life" but none brought more excitement than his three "walks" since the accident.  The first two were with therapists Sue and Trish.   #1 was 10 feet - from bed to family room door.  It was slow and manipulated with the ladies manually moving left and right legs.  # 2 was 30 feet - from his bed to the kitchen, where he rested on his forearms as he leaned forward on the counter.  # 3 was 21 feet with Shauna and me alternating right and left legs but this time was different.  Several times as we shifted weight to right foot, the left leg twitched and shakily moved forward - likewise with the right.  Celebration followed, especially as we recalled the number of weeks we watched the left leg lay lifelessly on the bed with the foot turned in an un-natural position.  Excitement and dancing now replaces some worry as we remembered fastening a velcro boot or bivalve night after night on that left foot and leg.

Today was another first.  Of all the trips we have made in the van, this was the first one in which he actively looked out the window at the sites.  I narrated as we drove to Chandler Med Center, especially as we moved along the streets of Lexington.  We returned home a different route and he watched closely as we drove by horse farms on a beautiful spring day.  While at the hospital we moved between buildings; he was enjoying the day so we stayed outside all we could.  He took all the people, all the confusion, and the changing conditions in stride.  This paragraph describes observations that are less tangible, but extremely important from my perspective.

Tonight as I lay down I feel very blessed.  I am blessed with friends, and Lance is blessed with friends, and all of us are blessed with people who care - some we didn't even know before the events of Nov 28th.  Max Lucado said, "The people who make a difference are not the ones with the credentials, but the ones with the concern."  I thank you for your concern; thanks for caring....and praying.  I thank God for hearing our prayers AND for His miraculous healing power.  All the glory goes to Him for what is happening right in front of our eyes.

Psalms 33:22 "May Your unfailing love rest upon us........since we wait with HOPE for You!"



  1. God bless you and yours, John. I am, again, moved by your words and the images that they conjure in my mind.I know that Lance will run another marathon in time, and I know it is going to be accomplished by his faith, hard work and determination, the love and support of family and friends, and the prayers of those who truly believe in Jesus Christ.
    "A man plans his directions, but God orders his steps."

  2. So thankful for encouraging news!

  3. So happy to hear the progress! As always you all are in our thoughts and prayers!

  4. praying for more progress everyday, so happy to hear of his good news from the doctors

  5. This is amazing! I continue to pray for Lance! Go Lance!!!

  6. What wonderful progress Lance is making. As you are finding out each day brings accomplishments along with a few setbacks; but, prayers are being answered with the setbacks being fewer and fewer and the accomplishments being more and more. I am so thankful God has other plans for Lance and He wasn't needing him at Home yet. As the saying goes, "If He brings you to it, He'll bring you through it" and without a doubt He is helping all of you through it. Thoughts and prayers continue daily for all of you.

  7. Looking at the counter, it's kind of cool to know that people have checked in on Lance over 80,000 times now. Testament to the man he is.

  8. A friend sent this to me yesterday. I sent it to Christa,but wanted to share it with you guys: "To get something you never had, you have to do something you never did. When God takes something from your grasp, He's not punishing you, but merely opening your hands to receive something better. Concentrate on this sentence. The will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you." God our Father, walk through my house and take away al my worries and illnesses and please watch over and heal my family in your name, Amen.