A Lewis County man in charge of three large construction projects in Morehead is showing signs of improvement after contracting an uncommon disease.

Sanford “Sam” Howard, founder and CEO of Trace Creek Construction of Vanceburg, is expected to make a full recovery after being diagnosed with Gullain-Barré syndrome more than two months ago, according to Eddie Sorrell of Trace Creek.

Gullain-Barré syndrome is a disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks part of the peripheral nervous system. The first symptoms include varying degrees of weakness or tingling sensations in the legs and spreads to the arms and upper body. The symptoms can increase in intensity until certain muscles cannot be used at all and, when severe, the person is almost totally paralyzed.

“Sam is starting to respond and come out of it,” said Sorrell. “His recovery could be up to three years and he will have to learn to walk and utilize other motor skills again. But thankfully, he’s expected to have a full recovery. It’s just going to take a while.”

Sorrell said Howard’s early symptoms were a cough that progressed enough until he was admitted to Southern Ohio Medical Center in Portsmouth, Ohio. He was paralyzed three days later on April 19 and placed on a ventilator to assist his breathing.

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