Hello, Unfortunately, the 'wiping clean' advice wasn't helpful, but your situation is recoverable. This is a common, not to say, universal problem. I assume that neither you or your husband have much interest in the situation with webOS) and it will take a little effort to fix this and set the tablet up again (but less than using the doctor or installing Android). If you're technically confident, you can set up quite a lot on this versatile machine.
The essential problem you have is that user accounts were once set up on servers at HP. The account would perform automatic backups and allow access to the app catalog. In the event of a full reset (when all apps and data are erased), app information and some user data were recorded in the account and could be re-downloaded. With the demise of original webOS (it got sold to LG and is now on TVs), the HP servers were shut down in 2015. So, the machine is likely fine, but it can't contact HP and gets stuck trying to activate the account.
Here is a summary of how to fix it: Tip: How to Bypass Activation | pivotCE It links back to discussion threads here. You will need a computer that runs java (easy, but may require installation). You will connect the tablet to the PC via the USB cable and run a program to bypass the activation. You'll note that the original instruction thread tells how to modify the program for the Touchpad. If you want the easy way, then there is a ready made version linked in the article.
Of course, webOS has been effectively unsupported since 2011, but fortunately is a fairly open system and support, updates and fixes have been delivered over the years by the community of webOS users - mostly on this forum. webOS can then function fairly well today, but it requires the user to have a little technical knowledge to apply the various fixes.
Having got your tablet started, you will be looking for apps, but the catalogue is gone. You will see a link at the end of the article leading to a set up guide. You can install the 'homebrew' app catalogue, Preware. This accesses apps from various sources including this website. Since the server closure a number of creators generously made their former catalog apps available, so there are a few. They are listed in the app or you can search here: webOS & LuneOS Apps on Preware Catalog.
Additional useful information is in the links in my signature below. If you have any further questions, post them on this thread. You can follow pivotCE on Twitter, Facebook or RRS news feed. Good luck!