Sep 18, 2020 Latest post:
Oct 16, 2020
Howard, is an extra class amateur radio operator, call sign WB4UD, from Lincolnton NC. Howard has been active in the amateur radio hobby since 2014. He has made contacts with people all over the world and avidly enjoys the hobby.
In the middle of July 2020, Howard started to have some lower back pain while sitting in his wheelchair. This progressed and he started having pain behind his sternum. He went to the hospital and was diagnosed with costochondritis. It was thought that this was just inflammation of the cartilage that connects the rib bone to the breastbone. He went home with orders to take it easy and follow up with a chiropractor to help adjust his back to make sitting easier.
He followed up with the chiropractor and had a few adjustments. On July 25th, he was having a lot of pain in his chest and back. He spent most of the day in bed and on Sunday July 26th, Petey (his significant other) called 911 because he was having so much pain and trouble breathing.
Howard went to Lincolnton Hospital where they did a chest CT and found several tumors on his breastbone and lungs. They followed up with a full scan and found that he had tumors at the base of the spine (which is why he was in so much pain sitting), the base of his skull, liver and several other places in his body. He was immediately transported via ambulance to CMC Main with Atrium Health in Charlotte NC that night.
He subsequently spent ten days in the hospital. During that time they did several biopsies to try and determine what kind of cancer he has. While he was awaiting the results, his care team was changing his bed linens and rolled Howard onto his side. This move subsequently fractured his right collar bone.
Howard finally came home on August 5th, 2020 via ambulance. Due to COVID-19 and all the changes it has brought, there was a lot of miscommunication and misunderstanding between the hospital and his home health team. It took several days to get home health started.
On Monday August 10, 2020 he and his family had a tele-health visit with his oncologist. His oncologist diagnosed Howard with Stage IV metastatic lung cancer. Due to the advanced nature of the cancer, Howard is not a candidate for treatment (chemo / radiation). His physician gave him approximately six months to live without treatment and eight to ten months to live with treatment.
Howard and his family have decided to forego treatment in order to have the best quality of life for the time he has left. He was placed on hospice by his oncologist on 8/10/2020. He will be spending the remainder of his time at home surrounded by his family and his beloved dogs, Jackson and Harley.
After spending over ten days in the hospital, Howard’s medical bills have already begun to pile up. Prior to his cancer diagnosis Howard was on disability and a fixed income. He has Medicare coverage, but not Medicaid or any other forms of insurance. Petey has been Howard’s primary care taker and is going to need some help. After exhausting all of our options, it has become apparent that in order to get in-home help, we will have to pay out of pocket for a CNA to come in and help a few times a week.
We have started a GoFundMe page to raise donations to help pay for the medical costs of Howard’s time in the hospital, in-home health aids to help with bathing, feeding, changing etc, medical supplies not covered by hospice, and eventually final expenses.
Any help would be greatly appreciated. As always your prayers are the number one thing our family could use. We will update regularly to keep everyone informed.
A link to Howard's GoFundMe page can be found under the "Ways to help" tab. Click on "View GoFundMe Campaign" and it will take you to Howard's GoFundMe page.