Bruce Willis’s wife, Emma Heming Willis, has delivered a heartbreaking update on the Die Hard icon’s health after being diagnosed with dementia.
The 45-year-old appeared on the Today show on Monday to open up about life as a caregiver for World Frontotemporal Dementia Awareness Week.
Speaking to Hoda Kotb, Emma spoke about life for the Pulp Fiction actor, 68, and admitted she found the diagnosis often difficult to navigate.
“Dementia is hard,” she said. “It’s hard on the person diagnosed, it’s also hard on the family. And that is no different for Bruce, or myself, or our girls.
“When they say this is a family disease, it really is.”
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Emma also acknowledged it was ‘hard to know’ exactly how aware Bruce is of his degenerative disease, which can cause trouble communicating, difficulty with work, or even with walking.
Willis was initially diagnosed with aphasia, a type of progressive dementia which affects ability to communicate.
Ultimately, this resulted in the family – which includes his ex-wife Demi Moore and his children – announcing his retirement in March 2022 and disclosing the diagnosis.
Since then Demi and Emma have been working together to keep the family as united as possible while they look after Bruce.
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Unfortunately, in February 2023, the family shared his condition had progressed and his diagnosis changed from aphasia to frontotemporal dementia.
Frontotemporal dementia, or FTD, affects the different area to the brain than other types of dementia such as Alzheimer’s.
As a result, his memory is not as badly affected, but his ‘executive functions’ – such as speech, language understanding and personality – have been affected, and getting gradually worse.
Emma said that coming to terms with the diagnosis, for which there’s no known cure, is both a ‘blessing and a curse’.
“To finally understand what was happening so that I could be into the acceptance of what is… it doesn’t make it any less painful, but … just being in the know of what is happening to Bruce makes it a little easier,” she said.
Bruce and Emma have been married since 2009, and together they share two children – Mabel and Evelyn.
He also has three more adult daughters – Rumer, Scout and Tallulah – from his marriage to Demi Moore.
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