Howard’s Story

At the age of 16 Howard was a fit and active teenager. Living at home with his family in West Alvington near Kingsbridge, he was a pupil at the Kingsbridge Community College and he also enjoyed earning some extra cash with a part time job in a local pizza takeaway.  He adored football and was enjoying his first season in the men's team, Loddiswell AFC.   Tragically for Howard and his family, he was struck down, completely out of the blue, by a massive stroke which has now left him with a condition known as "Locked in Syndrome".  

Howard has managed to overcome his initial need for assistance with his breathing using a tracheostomy.  He can now communicate with his eyes using an electronic board known as a Mega Bee and he also uses an Eye Gaze computer.  These are two wonderful and enabling pieces of assistive technology.  He uses different eye movements and different facial expressions to indicate certain needs.  For instance, a sideways look from one side to the other to say he has an itch!  Howard has normal cognitive brain function and is a bright and intelligent young man, but he is locked in a body which has ceased to perform in its normal capacity.  Howard's body is paralysed, although he has regained his sense of feeling, of smell and taste, his hearing and his eyes have improved incredibly from the onset of this horror.  Howard somehow manages, on the whole, to keep his spirits up.  Howard has a great sense of humour!

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Mum’s Story Part 1

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