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.


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.