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.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011


I know we haven't been very good at updating this blog lately and for that, I apologize. 

Dad has gone back to seeing patients at least 3 days a week, Brock has been super busy with school and playing in any musical group he can. Mom is working longer hours during the week to be able to take off to stay with Lance. Gena is trying to work a day or two mornings. and I'm back in school and working part-time. And sometime, during the week, we all try to go to a therapy visit with Lance. Gene and Helen Hickle have also been accompanying Gena on many trips to Ashland, Lexington, or Flemingsburg. Also, Chris and Deah. Carol Thomas, Charlie Stapleton and Ben. 
**This just in** I just heard that to distract Lance one day when he wasn't feeling good, Charlie sang Michael Jackson's Thriller. We have great friends. :)

Lance was traveling to Fleming County Hospital for antibiotic therapy to treat a kidney infection, every day for the last 10 days. Since he has finished that treatment, he has made great strides in his cognition and muscle tone. The therapist at Cardinal Hill have been impressed with his continuous hard work of the right leg, while on the lokomat. And more recently, the beautiful firing of the muscles in the left leg! 
Also, Lance has been eating more and more in the past couple of months, and its a good thing, since his feeding tube fell out one day last week. It was been placed back in March, and it seems the bulb had disintegrated. So, we are very thankful for all the beans and cornbread that he has eaten lately!

In other news, my papaw John was diagnosed with cancer around a month ago. After multiple doctors visits, scans, lab work, etc, they decided to start radiation last week. They estimated do to about 25 radiation treatments, then let him rest for approximately 5 weeks, followed by surgery to remove the tumor in the colon. Then, they will re-evaluate and see what's next. Papaw was feeling pretty rough over the weekend. The trips to Lexington have left him tired and weak. They decided to admit him to Fleming County Hospital a couple days ago for pain management and antibiotics. I've been with him all day and He looks better to me than he has in a week. He appears stronger and is, as usual, cracking his hilarious jokes. Probably will be discharged to home tomorrow and he hopes to start back to radiation treatments early next week. 

I know we say this a lot, but our entire family is so very thankful for every single thing our extended family, neighbors, friends and community have done for us. So many people have been so supportive in helping my grandparents get to doctor appointments, bringing them food (which is big since my Grandma is ALWAYS cooking) and even mowing the yard. 
Since the first day of November, everyday, I've been uploading something that I'm thankful for to a facebook album. The way its looking, I may not be able to end at the end of the month. We have so many things to be thankful for.  
My family. we call, we text, we facebook, whatever it takes to get to each other fast and efficient. I'm thankful to have the dad that I have, the mom that I have and the stepmom that I have and the baby brother I have. Together, we have been able to care for Lance almost 24/7. He hasn't been left alone for almost a year. Which brings me to my next thing to be thankful for... Lance. He is alive! He has been one of the most inspirational people in my life. Through all of the therapy, the trips to and from, the admissions, the stretching, the paperwork, the questioning... Lance doesn't act aggravated, he doesn't appear to be mad. He may give us a questionable look every now and then, but for the most part he is very compliant. I think about that whenever I'm complaining about something silly. 

Chelcee's Thankful album < Here is the link for the album, if you want to look at it. but its not finished yet. 

Hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving! 

1 comment:

  1. Good and sad news this time. Lance is doing so well and your papaw John is a strong warrior. Will continue prayers for both as well as your family. Hugs. Gina