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.



~Chelcee




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.

-John

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.

-John
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