In memory of Kenneth Howard

someone we've lost to ALS


ALS took away our hero, provider, daddy, and best friend.

In the spring of 2018, my husband began to have issues with his right arm. He lost grip strength and had trouble using it. Ken went to our PCP, started physical therapy, and began the first of many tests. Blood work didn’t show much, but he continued to lose the use of his arm.

Shortly after, his right leg started to drag. Ken saw additional doctors and submitted to more tests. By the fall, after conducting his own research and seeing a neurologist, he received the diagnosis of ALS. The worst disease, a death sentence.

Slowly over the next year, Ken lost the ability to walk unaided, and most of the use of his arms. He traveled to multiple facilities to receive stem cells in the hope of slowing the progression of the disease. After a trip to Costa Rica in December of 2019, he ended up in the hospital for 3 days with a fever and flu like symptoms. After that, Ken no longer walked alone. He used a PWC to get around. I began feeding him his meals as he couldn’t himself.
Ken no longer went to work. The effort it took to prepare him for the day was too much.
As 2020 continued and Covid arose, we rarely left the house. I couldn’t get sick and if Kenneth contracted it, it would have killed him.

We relied on our eldest children, ages 17 and 20 to assist me in moving Ken in and out of bed, into his PWC, shower chair, and his recliner. They also picked up our groceries and helped with with the younger kids; ages 6 and 9.

Ken received a feeding tube in April and received most of his sustenance through that.
October brought the worst. Ken vomited after a feeding one evening and couldn’t tolerate a full feeding for weeks. He deteriorated very quickly after that and by November he became almost comatose. Waking occasionally to smile at the kids. We began hospice and concentrated on making him comfortable.

Early on November 17, I prepared and administered his pain and anxiety medication. I was cleaning out his mouth when I realized he was no longer with us.

Ken was an Air Force Veteran, serving during Desert Storm. He was 47 years old. He left behind his parents, brothers, a wife, 4 children, and a grandson.

ALS took away our hero, provider, daddy, and best friend.

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