It appears your husband's phone is still on the original Eclair 2.1 firmware from when the phone was first released. He is badly in need of an update.
Rather than mess around trying to get Kies to recognise the phone you can update the Firmware using Odin instead. Odin is safer and more stable than Kies any way.
Download Odin and the Firmware files from https://dl.dropbox.com/u/30612400/Samsung-Updates.com-GT-I9000_XEU_1_20120321140453_udbxvq6it9.zip
and unzip to a convenient location on your PC.
Now, switch the phone off completely until it vibrates and put the phone into download mode by holding Volume Down + Home + Power button. The phone should now show a Yellow road sign with the Android robot digging.
If the phone won't go into Download mode you will have to visit a Samsung Service Center to get the phone updated. They will do it for free when you explain the Kies will not recognise the phone.
If you can enter Download mode launch Odin from the folder you've downloaded and connect the phone via USB to your PC.
Now click the PDA button and navigate to the firmware folder and select the JW4_JW4_JW4 file.
Now click start in Odin and wait for the update to complete. It can take anything up to 10 minutes and the phone will re-boot. It can take a further five minutes or so for the phone to re-boot first time which is normal.
When the phone has fully re-booted you can unplug the USB and start to use the phone normally.
You will have to re-download all of your apps again so it's best to make a note of what apps are on the phone and also back up any media files before flashing just in case.