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.


Saturday, September 17, 2011

Back to Lex and Cardinal Hill, Here We Go, Go, Go

Lance has relocated; he is back in Lexington - at Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation Hospital.  This time it is clearly a progressive move for him, one that was recommended by Dr. Salles and the outpatient therapists from King's Daughters and Cardinal Hill.  They feel that he has the energy to endure three hours of therapy per day and make some gains.  We enjoy him being home, seeing him everyday, and just serving as his family and friend......but we know this is the next step, and a necessary one for him to recover.  We continue to trust and wait on God - just wondering what He has in store for us, how he intends to use Lance for His glory.

We witnessed the Cardinal Hill expansion project as it was nearing completion while here from early May through July.  Now we are occupants of the new wing - in fact the first to use room #212, as this unit was just opened yesterday.  As would be the case, there are many kinks to be worked out in the addition; in spite of that, it is very nice and has many amenities that should make it good for him.  We have enjoyed renewing acquaintance with friends made during Lance's first stay. He was restless the first night but has had a good day with assessments from occupational(Kim and Joe) and speech therapy(Karen).  During admission we got to see Dr. Nickerson, as well as Kelly - fresh back from her Utah trip.  Also this afternoon we spent a couple of hours outside at our Lexington "tailgate party"(in the Cardinal Hill lot).  As I type this I am listening to the Cats and Cards do battle at Commomwealth Stadium.....and thinking about how Lance would probably have been there, had things been different.  (TV is one of the kinks that I mentioned so I'm tuned into WLAP on my laptop.)

Chelcee and Brock and Sara were able to stop in for visit yesterday.  Also Grandma Marlene, Christa, and Mary Corns .  Lambert Farmer, a friend from Southand Christian, stopped in this afternoon and Jill was here this evening.  So Lance's welcome has been more that adequate and if I know Lance he will quickly adapt to new surroundings.  His attitude has been so pleasant - lots of smiles and today a spontaneous shared humorous moment as he and I worked on lyrics for our new song - a tribute to the late Amy Winehouse.

Daddy says I gotta go to rehab - I say no, no, no
It' not 'cause of drugs; and man is he glad, don't you know, know know
Headed back to Lex and Cardinal Hill, here we go, go go
Good nurses there and one is Bill - that we know, know, know

I know they'll work me hard on Monday morn
They say everyday seems like a marathon
Like a Lion, I will try to be brave and strong
Life - with all its tears - is really not too long 
Gonna put my faith in God - I know that He will save the day, day ,day
I will keep on trusting Him - all along the way, way, way


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

I'm almost positive that this picture doesn't really need a caption. However, who has ever known me to be speechless?
I hadn't posted a picture of Lance yet. Except for when he was walking on the treadmill, but I've stayed away from his face because I wasn't sure how he felt about that. However, I can't help but post this one... He looks wonderful!
Today, my dad loaded Lance up in the convertible and took him for a ride around town. He went to tell our Grandma Betty, happy birthday. Then they drove out to Clarksburg, hoping to run into Mom or Ben, stopped by the dental office and even drove out to the high school.
Since Thanksgiving weekend, Lance has only ridden in a helicopter, ambulances and the handicap accessible fan. The Sebring was a nice change of scenery.
I was wondering this evening if it was scary for him to be back in a car. Especially one without a top. I wondered if he would be anxious. But, Lance continues to impress us all. He seemed relaxed and had a good time.
Lance continues with trips to Lexington and Ashland for therapy every week. They are doing such good things for him. Sometimes, they ask him if its hurting and he says yes. Then, they will ask if they need to stop and he says no. He has such determination. He went back to church again this past Sunday. He is also able to eat more.... homemade ice cream, small pieces of fruit and he is drinking from a cup by himself. Sometimes, I feel like things are slow. But all I have to do is think back to 9 1/2 months ago and then I remember exactly how far he has come and how powerful prayer is.

I'm sleepy... maybe I will update more soon!