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, August 8, 2012

I figured that since Lance has begun to update this own Facebook statuses, he will want to write his own blog soon. And I wanted to get one more post in before that happens.  
Lance is amazing and improving so much in so many ways. I saw a picture of my family when we were featured in the Ledger back around Thanksgiving, and he was so skinny! Sometimes, I think you can see the most change in him by looking through pictures. So, here ya go! 

Miracle Meets Miracle

On December 26th, 2011, one of my very best friends, Trisha, gave birth to this little guy, Gavin Cole Weddington. 
He was due on April 10th. He weighed 1 pound and 9 ounces.  After 3 months in the NICU, he was able to come home. Now, he is over 13 pounds and doing great! 
Trish and I couldn't wait for Lance and Gavin to meet, so finally in June, Miracle Gavin met Miracle Lance. 

Earlier in the summer, Lance and I attended one of Peyton's ballgames. 

           Some of you know that we purchased a handicap van with a hydraulic lift for Lance's         wheelchair last year. With his improved strength, he no longer has to ride in the wheelchair and can help us maneuver him into one of our vehicles. Thats Peyton with him in the minivan. 

Lance loves to take pictures with his sister. :) 

To the right.. first time in Grandmas pool in 2 years.
The water was warm, my mother nearly had a stroke and my dad was out of town. Thats the only time we get to do anything fun. ;) 
But we got him in and he loved it! 

Thats the three of us at Kenny's on Fathers Day.  Aren't we sweet?

Lance got two new rides this summer. 
The minivan was a little high for him to get in and out of, so he got a Ford Flex. Its awesome. 

To the right is him in his new wheelchair, we hope we aren't in that thing too much longer... and there is Peyton again, one of Lance's best friends. 

Lance with one of his other best friends, Grant on the back deck

Dad recently put the stationary bike out in the garage, to see if Lance could do any good with it. The first mile was a little rough with trying to keep his feet on the pedals, but the second mile he did without any help from us. Since then he has been pedaling away, increasing the intensity and pushing himself. 
As you can see, there is a small picture of Coach Calipari on a license plate on that wall. That is of course, Lance's motivation. ha! 

Hanging out with his great friend, Mary at Orange Leaf. :)

Lance finally got a haircut! Courtesy of Amanda Grayson Switzer at J. Curtis Salon. 

Whitney and sweet baby Tate often come to visits when Lance is staying with mom. 
I think that most of Lance's personality is the same. One things that has changed is his thoughts on babies, he is no longer afraid of them. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Two Blinks = One Month

Much has happened since last much that I will have to summarize due to memory issues and for the sake of brevity.  The weekend (18th to 20th) was good and Lance and I enjoyed more good food (mostly Mexican restaurants per his request).  Saturday was spent in Piedmont Park; Sunday worship at Buckhead Church.  Mom and Gena headed toward Kentucky for a few days.  Brock and Jill arrived on Sunday; my flight brought me back home Sunday afternoon and work on Monday morning.  Monday turned out to be quite the long day as we had scheduled a trip to Lexington to see the Legends play.  This was a Vanceburg Christian Church outing and we were able to take the grandkids (and great-grandma Helen).  They are all anxious to see Lance.

On Wednesday (23rd) Gena, Shauna, Maddie, and Peyton traveled to Atlanta.  Brock and Jill headed north after Lance's therapy was completed for the day.  The first evening was trying as the starter went bad on Lance's van; it messed up their dinner plans with Lance but we felt fortunate that it happened then instead of on the way home during Memorial weekend.  God seems to keep us in His watchcare.  I flew back to Atlanta on Thursday night; Shauna and kids headed back to KY while we kept busy closing out Lance's 3 month stay at Shepherd.  On Friday morning he had his last therapy sessions  there; then he, Gena, and I headed out of Atlanta on a hot Friday afternoon to begin the Memorial Day weekend.  We drove to Knoxville, then stopped for the night.  Early Saturday morning we traveled the last leg of the journey and Lance saw the Bluegrass state for the first time since the day the tornadoes raged through on March 2nd.  We were joined by Lance's cousin and my niece, Shelby Sparks, as she had returned from a weekend of working with homeless in DC as part of her education experience at Maryville College (Maryville, Tenn).

We arrived about 2 PM on May 26th and planned a quiet, restful weekend with return to work on Tuesday.  We started getting calls of urgency about 7:30 PM due to Larry and Shauna's house being vandalized as fire crews and police rushed to the scene.  So much for rest.........that is the way it seems to have been ever since.  The Spencer's are doing amazingly well and I admire their calmness during calamity as they are forced from their home during a lengthy repair period.

Lance was upset by these occurrences but has enjoyed being home, sitting on the deck, visiting with friends and family, and home cooking.   He travels to Ashland for therapy 3 days per week.  He enjoyed immensely a weekend visit from Mary Rohrer.  He gets to see Chelcee frequently and gets excited each time Brock (and Sarah) come over from Morehead.  The grandkids enjoy coming to house for overnight visits but prefer it to be nights when Lance is here instead of staying at his mom's.  Last week Maddie, Peyton, Noah, Grant, and Lance launched  water balloons in front driveway - even taking aim at the Vice's as they drove by.   Later Lance took a few swings (and made contact three times) in a wiffel ball game as Mylie Vice and Seth Wright joined the fun. 

He continues to love attending church as now we can be at Vancburg Christian regularly.  Yesterday was our first Father's Day since dad (John F.) passed.  We keep trying to let our wonderful memories wash away feelings of loss.  This has large impact on Lance - we stop at cemetery and ponder dad's (grandpa's) life and influence on us often.

When nothing else is planned, Lance is honing his channel surfing skills.  Each day is busy; lots of therapy we do daily so that he can continue developing skills.  This has been a challenging three months but brought many benefits to Lance.  We gratefully thank-you for all the prayers and we worship the God of the universe and trust Him as the Healer of all pain as we continue this path.


Friday, May 18, 2012

The airport seems to be the only venue where I have time to sit down and blog.  I'm heading back to Atlanta for weekend with Lance so I'll try to provide catch-up info.
Early on Friday of my last weekend there, Lance and I went out into the early morning rain (and traffic).  We made ouy way to the World Congress Center where Chick-fil-le' was staging its annual Leadership conference.  We were privileged to attend a session with Andy Stanley followed by Urban Meyer.  Myer then introduced the "greatest college football player of all time", Tim Tebow.  Tebow & Meyer sat down with Soledad O'Brien in an interview format which offered Tebow opportunity to share his mission and his testimony.  His faith in God is amazing and his comfort and courage in sharing God's love is refreshing and inspiring.

The afternoon was spent in therapy, then we ate at Atlanta popular spot The Varsity.  Afterward we viewed the sites from the sidewalks of Georgia Tech and Midtown Atlanta.  We both crashed eaarly after a long day.  Saturday morning was relaxed and then we met up with our friends the Hyatts (Todd, Megan, & Parker) and their missionary friend from Benin, Michel.  Lance selected a Persian menu for evening meal; Sofus was short walk from the apartment, the food was great and Lance enjoyed immensely.  He seems so happy, so confident; I'm thankful that the Holy Spirit provides him with comfort and peace that is needed in order to be patient on this long rehabilitation process.

I returned to Kentucky on Sunday; mom and Gena had arrived on Saturday evening.  The time with Lance had gone quickly as we stayed so busy; this visit lasted 72 hours, much better than the 30 hour block I had the previous visit.

This past Tuesday Lance was able to resume wearing regular shoes during awake hours.  It marked six weeks since his tendon release surgery and results seem good.  He will continue with weight bearing, building strength, and working at making his feet/legs take steps.  All therapies continue going well and his right arm dexterity continues to improve.  The left arm is lagging behind but we will continue to hope for healing and improvement. 

There are some concerns at this time that will be evaluated in coming days.  He is taking antibiotics for a possible bladder/kidney infection, but no ddefinitive diagnosis yet and little improvement in his discomfort.  He also had a MRI yesterday to evaluate swelling in his back.  It seems that there may be some leakage from insertion point of Baclophen medication.  Dr Frankel will be addressing this hoefully this week. 

Keep praying for Lance....and all of us.  Our time at Shepherd will be over soon...then we will be able to get back to activities like sitting on the back deck and watching the river flow.


Thursday, May 3, 2012

Southbound and Down

The weekend to Atlanta was fun but short.  I stayed all night near Atlanta airport, then took Marta toward Lance.  The last 2.4 miles were tough as I chose to walk on a warm morning, carrying a heavy laptop bag and pulling a suitcase - that is, until one of the wheels broke.  Thank goodness I was one mile away when that happened.  As I walked I felt the adrenaline rush giving me energy as each step took me toward him.   Jill and Sue Jane headed toward Kentucky after my arrival.

Lance and I crammed all we could into my 30 hour visit.  We ate dinner at an eclectic restaurant called J. Thomas where Lance ordered a mango salad and a chicken wrap.  Ths was about a mile walk from the Shepherd campus; the day was so beautiful and we had spent most of afternoon outside.  On Sunday morning we attended Buckhead Church, where we were joined by mom(Granny Marlene) and Gena as they arrived in town simultaneous with beginning of worship.

Lance was counting down days until casts were removed from ankles/lower legs.  They were taken off April 24 and now he is wearing boots all day and bi-valves during sleep to sustain the surgical correction.  He is taking some steps, riding a nubike, and participating in 3 hours of therapy daily.  The baclophen pump dosage is being increased gradually.

Ben and Chelcee made a Smokey and the Bandit trip during weekend of April 27-29.  These are tiring trips that take much from you (and for me require several days for recovery).  They had a great time and were able to observe his progress since being in Atlanta.  Jill and Grandma Betty arrived on Sunday, the 29th and have escorted him since - to therapy visits and recreational visits to Underground Atlanta and a Civil War museum.

I'm waiting on 7 AM flight, back in airport in Cincy.  It's been 11 long days since I saw him ; I'm looking forward to this visit which will last at least 72 hours.  His voice sounded strong on the phone the last couple of days, especially when he talked to Grant on Wednesday night.  I am so grateful for opportunity to see him today and that the office staff is taking care of our patients with Dr. Emily Hughes coordinating efforts.  I'm thankful Lance has had this chance for wonderful care in a special place with talented people.  I continue to appreciate every prayer offered for Lance; God is good and he is listeniing and I know He will deliver Lance through this battle.  I continue to be encouraged as  I encounter people daily who lift me up in life and my part in this challenge.  I am impressed with kindness, especially when it comes from folks who have known tragedy in their lives....such as injury to, or even loss of a child.  Thank you to all who have helped me through this valley.


Friday, April 20, 2012

Traveling to Atlanta on a Friday Night

Lance completed the hospital portion of his stay in the Shepherd Center on April 11th.  We said good-byes to the wonderful staff of nurses, therapists, Lance's great physician Dr. Elmers and PA Maria, as well as all other auxillary staff, and moved to another building on the Shepherd campus,the Woodruff Building.  This facility has furnished apartments where families can reside with their loved ones as he/she participates in out-patient therapy.  On the day of the move we enjoyed the beautiful spring day and made a test run to Shepherd Pathways, the out-patient facility located nine miles from Woodruff.  On the outing we found the Green Ginger where Lance, Gena, and I enjoyed some tasty Asian cuisine.

The Baclofen pump seems to be the right treatment and Lance has adjusted well.  It has helped with muscle tone and has allowed decrease in oral medicines he had been taking for months.   The surgery on his Achilles tendons(bilateral) caused some days of discomfort but that is behind us now.  He still has casts that extend from his toes to top of shin.  Next Tuesday these will be converted to bi-valves which he will wear while sleeping.  During daytime hours he will wear a walking boot for 3-4 weeks.  Then he will go to regular shoes.  That is good news because he is taking his first steps.  Today Jill reports a walk of about 60 feet on a therapy appliance.  He is working very hard to get nerves and muscles working again.  The left hip which was fractured is stiff and compromised but the marathon man keeps pushing to become mobile.

He continues to enjoy laughing and interacting with others.  Now that we are out of hospital we have opportunity to try out restaurants in the area; he enjoys that as well.  When his mom and Sue Jane Bane arrived last Saturday, they unloaded groceries that would have fed 6 people for 3 weeks....instead of 3 people for 1 week.  I'm sure Lance has enjoyed every bite.  A man who received all nourishment through a tube, which went directly into his GI system, for 10 months deserves to enjoy some of the dishes he watched being prepared on the Food Channel cooking shows.

I'm blogging from Cinn. airport, waiting on 7:45 to Chicago, then late arrival in Atlanta.  I will get to spend Saturday and Sunday with him.  I can't believe it has only been 6 days since I saw him; yet it seems like forever.  I'm having to work more these days due to some changes that have occurred at the office.  I continue to be very grateful......... that Lance can receive this great opportunity through the Shepherd Center, that the staff and the patients at the office understand and make adjustments that allow me to have time with him,  and for each prayer that God hears for Lance and his family as we move through this chapter of life.


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Good News / Bad News

Well it's been a long time since I provided update.  My last blog was a few days before dad passed -   several times, since Lance was injured, I have pondered just how much of a man's heart beats for his children.  I'm so glad that I had the chance to better understand dad's love for me during the last year of his life.  I would never have felt the degree of compassion, or been able to appreciate John F. so much, had I not experienced the "great sadness" that wanted to become my constant companion.  (great sadness-reference from The Shack)

Today, March 28th, marks 16 months since Lance was injured.  I always deal with an unwarranted amount of emotion when the 28th of each month comes up on the calendar.  Today seems different; it is so busy and Lance has had three successive days of fun developments.  In fact he has had three and a half weeks of excitement since arriving at the Shepherd Center.  In the first three hours after his admission so much happened.  Dr. Elmers and her team were busy listening and sharing ideas; their knowledge of him was astounding due to the excellent reports they had received from his outpatient therapists as well as Cardinal Hill.  Gena and I later compared notes on our feelings; she experienced alot of emotions just walking down familiar hallways and remembering Lance's status when we were here a year ago.  I did not have those flashbacks until I started bumping into staff members who had provided care for Lance with so much affection.............provided support for us, his family, when we were so fragile.  To each of them I will be forever grateful.........................  Each of us have the chance to help others along their journey; while you cannot always be ready to jump in and help.....keep your eyes wide open as there are so many people fighting hard battles.

I promised myself I would be brief, so I will just hit the highlights.  Gena and I enjoyed the first week with him in Atlanta as our wonderful team provided assessments and began giving input and put together a plan of action for Lance.  We had fun times as he started laughing more often when funny things happened.  Still the travel had been tiring and now he had to quickly get accustomed to a new group of people, new schedules, and new surroundings.  The trip itself would have caused anyone to become disconcerted; Lance slept in four different beds on four consecutive days during the transition.  Friday - Vanceburg, Saturday - Knoxville, Sunday - Atlanta but not the hospital until Monday.  We were able to help him begin his birthday celebration.  Other birthday visitors were the Dunaways-Chris, Deah, Noah, and Lance's buddy Grant.

Jill and Grandma Betty were with him during week two. This week was challenging with Lance having a Baclofen pump surgically placed by Dr.Frankel on Thursday.  This allows medicine that helps to control muscle tone to be delivered, site specific to where it is needed, in his spinal cord.  This, as well as all other coordinated efforts, are precursors to him being able to walk.  In order to avoid post-operative problems he had to stay in bed, relatively flat, for 48 hours after surgery.  All has gone well and we are starting to see benefits.  (This will be a long term medical device for Lance; many deal with similar devices such as pain pumps or insulin pumps.)  I underestimated the recovery time but he now seems to have that behind him.

Sue Jane Bane and Brock were with him a couple of days while he still didn't feel well, early in week three.  Gena finished out the third week;  Friday was a troubling day as Lance had a light seizure soon after wake-up.  She was in room helping him get day started when the episode occurred.  The rest of the day and the weekend was spent closely monitoring him.  There were some immediate medicine adjustments;  some meds,  typically used for patients like Lance, have seizure risks.  No other similar occurences have been observed since then.

Chelcee and I arrived for week four and have enjoyed our time with him.  By Monday it seemed that he was much stronger and there was a new difference.  He was laughing at TV shows, at me, even at himself.  The laughter doesn't have the volume that you who know him would miss.  However, the laughter is spontaneous......and there is a twinkle in his eye that is beautifully familiar.  I've missed so much for so long........this has been a wonderful blessing.  Much re-training is occurring.  He seems to embrace learning, just as he always has.  His attitude is outstanding as it has been through the journey.  Next week he is going to have surgery on his Achilles tendons; they were stretched during the months in which he was in a coma - to a point where walking, running, bicycling in a normal way would be impossible.  He understands and is willing to go through yet another tough procedure / recovery to obtain the best possible outcome.  I'm thankful to be in such a place of hope, a place where big dreams are dreamed and avoiding low expectations.

His determination seems to be coming from inside him and not only from those who surround him.  Pictures will display casts that are being used on left arm and leg for muscle extension.  These are treatment techniques that he has experienced before but now with new goals.  He advocates ardently for the Louisville Cardinals with anyone who brings up the Final Four.  Visitors during the Cards-Gators game on Saturday included Mike and Jenny Ginn, Chuck Perry, and the Hyatts-Todd, Megan, and Parker.  He attended the Atlanta Hawks vs. Utah Jazz game Sunday night thanks to Fleming Countian and fellow Uof L alum Derrick Crump, who works for the Hawks.

Dad and I always enjoyed good news/bad news jokes. So did Lance and I.  On Monday afternoon Lance and I were sitting outside on a 75 degree Atlanta spring afternoon.  I had carried out the plastic dish with the last three oatmeal cookies that mom had sent with us.  I gave him one and kept one for myself.  A few minutes later I opened the top and held it so Lance could look inside at the sole remaining cookie.  I said there's good news and bad news. The good news is there is a cookie left; the bad news is...".  He interrupted saying, "and it's for you."

Today we called to tell Gena about the upcoming surgery; I wanted to use the good/bad idea again so Lance could tell her in a fun way that it was going to involve not just one, but both ankles.  I started, "Tell Gena the good news about when the surgery is scheduled."  Lance said, "Next Thursday."  I followed, "And the bad news is.........".  Lance finished, "......and it's on me!"  It was so fun that he improvised, away from the script, and said something that was much more humorous. 

Last night he told me something that was bad news and good news, but not a joke.  Chelcee and I had just finished helping him with a shower - no small task for a man with two casts.  I looked at him and observed a grimace on his face as he shifted to get comfortable on his pillow.  I asked, "What's the matter Lance?"  His reply, "My neck is hurting." was the greatest complaint these ears have ever heard.  Sorry as I was to hear him describe pain, I had just witnessed a complete sentence spoken spontaneously - his first.  To some this will sound too simple to dwell on.......until you ponder all that has to happen for this God given communication system to work in our brains, our bodies.  Let's pause a moment and give God praise for many things that we can so easily take for granted.

As we move toward Palm Sunday - Holy Week - Easter, let's pause for longer periods and ponder BIG things that God has done for you, for me.  You think God seems far-away, elusive?  Start obeying what God is telling your inner self to do..............God will be much closer than you thought.   


Friday, March 16, 2012


This is going to be a quick one. 
The following link is to email Lance:

Also, I wanted to show everyone this picture of Lance, on his birthday. The girl with him is Jennifer. She's amazing. I took a picture of her and Lance last year when he was at Shepherd. And one day, if its ok with Lance I will post it.
Lance had a minor surgery yesterday. They inserted a baclofen pump. This will help with the muscle tone is his left arm and leg. They predict that he will be to take some steps once the medicine starts working! As a result of the surgery, he has to lay flat for 36 hours. However, he is dealing with it like a champ. Therapy has been working him really hard the last 10 days. Mom is hanging out with him now, Brock will be going down over the weekend. and I am going 7 days!!!

That's all I've got for now. I'm in between lab and a quiz. :)
God is good.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

march madness

March is always a little hectic in my life. Lots of basketball and almost everyone in my family celebrates a birthday.  Its a good time.

This March is no different.
Mom had a birthday last Thursday. My dad is celebrating his today. Brock will be 23 tomorrow, along with Peyton turning 9. Lance will be 26 on Friday. My Aunt Christa celebrates on Saturday and Shauna at the end of this month. Its crazy. I'm usually out of money by the end of March and definitely sick of birthday cake. (Notice that I didn't include ages of those who are older than me :))
Our cousin, Bopper Stenzel was voted 10th region Player of the Year. He plays for George Rogers Clark, and they will be playing in the state tournament next week. GO CARDS!

For those of you reading, who aren't in Kentucky, the weather is crazy!
Last Friday, tornados ripped through our state and demolished several small towns. I was in a hallway for 2 hours during a tornado warning while at school. My good friend Kayla lost her car and her parents home in Frenchburg. Counties south of Morehead, which is where I work, were leveled. Unfortunately, not only were homes and business destroyed, but lives were lost.
On Monday, we had snow - 6 inches in some places. This was taken in Morgan Co, by my good friend, Brandon Beasley.
Please keep the people of Morgan and Magoffin County in your thoughts and prayers. 

Today, its 70 degrees. Crazy.

ok, lets see, what else is happening. Oh yeah, Lance is back in Atlanta!
Yay! we are pretty excited. He headed out on Saturday, spent the night in Knoxville, and got to meet our cousin, Shelby for breakfast on Sunday morning at Cracker Barrel.

On Monday morning, he began the grueling admission process. Several nurses and therapists that he had over a year ago came in to see him. And of course, they were thoroughly impressed with his progress. His new doctor immediately began assessing and tweaking his medications. The therapist team evaluated to see what to try next on the left leg. Its improved greatly in the past couple months. But still needs work. They have decided to try an intrathecal baclofen pump to treat the spasticity. As always, we are completely amazed with The Shepherd Center, the hope that you feel as soon as you walk in the door, and the intensity of the program itself.
When Lance was discharged from this facility last year, it was with the intent to come back as soon as he was ready. Even though we see huge improvements in Lance's progress, its still surreal that he has advanced out of his 'comatose' state and is now ready to try whatever they throw at him.
It a humbling experience to be a part of.

Here is a picture of myself and my handsome brothers on Saturday, before he left for Georgia.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

prayers for strength, healing, and peace.

Sorry, folks, this one isn't so much about Lance.
He is still doing great, and he is still in Kentucky. We are playing the game of waiting on a bed and insurance approval at the same time. Last week in therapy, he was able to go from a sitting position to standing, while only holding on to the parallel bars, 10 times. So, yep he is getting stronger all the time.

Because many friends, family, and even strangers read this blog, I'm asking you to say some prayers for some friends of mine.

My friend's daughter, Autumn will be having surgery tomorrow (Feb 7th) at Cincinnati Children's. Its going to be a complicated procedure. Comfort is needed for her sweet momma and the rest of her family.

A lady that use to work at the hospital with me, lost her daughter over the weekend. Another one of my very good friends is living a nightmare that I was so close to living myself, 14 months ago. She lost her brother in a car accident yesterday.

These three ladies, who I adore are facing scary times this week.  So, as you go about your busy life and take a minute to scan this blog, please say a prayer for each of them.
Also, count your blessings and hold them tight.

Thank ya

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Shepherd? Sure!

On February 17th, Lance traveled from the Shepherd Center in Atlanta to dad's house in Vanceburg. That was almost a year ago. His doctors, nurses and therapists didn't say goodbye when he left, they said we will see you later. They all had high hopes and expectations, as did we, that Lance would continue to make huge strides in physical and cognitive development. And would someday be able to go back to the Shepherd Center for an intense therapy program. 

Throughout this past year Lance has been to Cardinal Hill, in-patient and outpatient, receiving therapy. As well as, Kings Daughters Outpatient Center. They have all been excellent in helping Lance work to regain strength in every aspect. Lance's normal week involves him being on the road for more than 13 hours just to travel to and from therapy sessions, so it was time to look into a program where he wouldn't have to travel but could still get the hard work-out that we know he needs, and wants. 

So, insurance and bed availability pending... Lance is on his way back to the Shepherd Center!
We are so excited to see the nurses and therapists that helped Lance and us make it through those first very critical weeks of rehabilitation. We don't have the specifics yet, still many things to work out, but chances are he will be heading south within the next 2 weeks. As soon as we know the details, we will let everyone know. 
Hopefully, Atlanta offers some warmer weather, or at least some more consistent weather :)


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Happy 2012!

It's been a little over a year since we started blogging. For a long time, we didn't upload pictures. We shared stories, some probably made you laugh, some made you cry. 
However, a picture is worth a thousand words and as most of you know, my busy schedule has doubled this month, so here ya go:

My dad and Lance have been boxing each other. This helps Lance work on his arm extension as well as his aim, as he moves his fist towards my dad's face. or mine. Perhaps not the best form of therapy. 
Sarah, Brock's girlfriend, got Lance a pair of boxing gloves for Christmas. 
great fun :)

For as long as I can remember, Lance has been involved in the music for the Christmas church service. This year he wasn't playing, but he sang in the choir. 

Lance goes to Ashland and Lexington every week. He is in the wheelchair and strapped in seven different ways inside the van. Back in the fall, my dad took him for a ride in the convertible. His second ride was in my car on Christmas day from mom's house to dad's house. 

He is determined. He is so very strong. Here he's standing, balancing himself by holding on to the parallel bar and stretching, just like Ami and Susan tell him to. 
Leslie was really sad she missed work this day! 

Happy 2012 Everyone! 
Miracles Happen! 
every. single. day