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, November 27, 2011

one year ago...

One year ago this very second, I was laying my bed trying to go to sleep. 
My dad was leading worship at Vanceburg Christian Church, so most Saturday nights he would be on the piano, practicing. Since Lance was home for the Thanksgiving weekend, he was going to play the guitar and accompany dad on stage at church the next morning. 
I can't remember what I had done that day, maybe I had been at work. maybe I had just eaten a lot of turkey. Either way, I was tired and wanted to go to bed early. 
As dad was on the piano, Lance was bouncing around playing his guitar. They were playing and singing Days of Elijah. At the end of the song, it says, 'There is no god like Jehovah" and its repeated about 50 times. 
I remember even after dad quit playing the piano, Lance was still playing his guitar right outside my door and quietly singing over and over... there is no god like Jehovah, there is no god like Jehovah, there is no god like Jehovah.... 
he was probably dancing too, knowing Lance. 
Some of you might be shedding a tear, because you think thats the last time I heard my brother play the guitar and sing. It wasn't.
I heard that song again in church the next morning, Lance playing and singing, maybe even with his shoes off... 
And I've heard him sing those words quite a few times the past couple months. He wasn't standing outside my room, but I was standing outside of his. 

we made the paper! 
Counting Their Blessings - Ledger Independent
Misty contacted us about doing a followup story. She had written about his early stages of recovery and then when he went to Atlanta, this time she wanted a picture and to interview Lance. 
I didn't realize we were going to be on the front page, on Thanksgiving morning! anyway, thanks Misty. :)

Lance can write. 
I remember when we were at the Shepherd Center with Lance, I would hand him a marker and hold a dry erase board out, praying that he would take off writing me a note, telling me his every thought, in his small cursive script. He would hold the marker. he would even twirl it like he always did while holding a pen. He would sometimes put the marker on the board, but then... nothing. well, nothing I could understand anyway. Brock got him to hold a pen and make some marks on a paper one evening. What we think were the makings of an L. However, since then, not so much luck on the writing front... until 10 days ago. 
On the Thursday before Thanksgiving, Lance and I were hanging out at the house by ourselves, I usually have a pen stuck in my ponytail, I leaned over to get something off the floor and it fell out on the couch and Lance reached for it. When I handed it to him, he clicked it on, twirled it around, clicked it off. Then, well, I don't know what he did because I ran into the other room, grabbed the small dry erase board, took my pen, handed him a marker and said, write your name. this is what i got:

So, I screamed, took a picture erased it, and told him to write Brock, then O'Cull, then Chelcee, then Dad, then Mom... it was crazy. I was snapping pictures, texting them to everyone. He didn't need any help spelling, that's for sure. Sometimes he tries to write in cursive. And I think we might need a huge dry erase board, because sometimes his perception on how much room he has is a little off. But nonetheless, it was remarkable! 
here are some more:

and this above... is 3.14
I asked him what pi was, so you know, he told me. I wouldn't expect anything less. 

We have some adaptive tools to help him be able to use the computer. Yesterday morning, I asked him if he wanted to sign in to FaceBook. I put the laptop in front of him and he very carefully hit every letter for his username. Sometimes his fingers will move when he doesn't want them to, so he might have hit some extra keys. But he knew exactly where they were placed on the keyboard. I was impressed. 

Also... Lance has been cheesing. A lot. All of my life whenever we had family pictures done, I had to hold my smile until Lance and Brock got their act together. They would make funny faces, make sad faces, hide their faces, hide my face, sometimes it would go on for an extended period of time. Not anymore, Lance is the one that's smiling first. 

Chelcee, Luke, Lance, Brock, Shelby, Bethany

Brock, Grandma Betty, Lexi, Chelcee, Lance, Jazz, Ian, Kaylee

So... its been a year. Its been the longest and shortest year of my life. We have been so busy traveling to and from hospitals, to and from therapy. Busy with work, busy with school. Busy doing whatever will make Lance better. So, yes in a way, its flown by. 
However, when I think back to a year ago when he was singing and moving his arms and legs freely on the small stage... his voice strong, his hand writing definite, his random texts showing up on my phone, his footsteps quick, and his jumps high, those things seem far away in my past, but not so far away in our future. 

1 comment:

  1. What an amazing year! "Even before there is a word on my tongue,(or in my pen)
    Behold, O LORD, You know it all." Psalm 139:4

    I'm looking forward to hearing what the Lord will show us about His plans for Lance in the coming year.

    Thanks for the wonderful update!

    Cindy McArtor