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




Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Two Blinks = One Month

Much has happened since last report.....so 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.

-John

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