Actor Bruce Willis Not Totally Verbal After Dementia Diagnosis

American writer and friend of Bruce Willis, Glenn Gordon Caron, has provided the latest update on the legendary actor’s condition.


Last February, the 68-year-old Die Hard star’s family announced he had been diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia (FTD). 


In February this year, Willis’ family confirmed that the 68-year-old’s illness had progressed to frontotemporal dementia (FTD), which can cause problems with behaviour and language.



On Tuesday, Glenn Gordon Caron, 69, spoke to the New York Post about how he tries to visit the Die Hard actor every month.



“I’m not always quite that good but I try and I do talk to him and his wife [Emma Heming Willis] and I have a casual relationship with his three older children,” Caron told the outlet. “I have tried very hard to stay in his life.”



“The thing that makes [his disease] so mind-blowing is [that] if you’ve ever spent time with Bruce Willis, there is no one who had any more joie de vivre [joy of living] than he,” the director continued. “He loved life and … just adored waking up every morning and trying to live life to its fullest.”


Caron added that FTD has made Bruce, 68, unable to communicate, explaining that it’s as if “he now sees life through a screen door.” However, he said Bruce does still recognize him when he visits.



“My sense is the first one to three minutes he knows who I am,” he said. 



“He’s not totally verbal; he used to be a voracious reader — he didn’t want anyone to know that — and he’s not reading now. All those language skills are no longer available to him, and yet he’s still Bruce.”



“When you’re with him you know that he’s Bruce and you’re grateful that he’s there,” he noted, “but the joie de vivre is gone.



Last month, Emma appeared on the Today show and shared that she’s not sure if her husband is aware of his health condition.



“It’s hard to know,” the Make Time Wellness founder, 45, said on the show, alongside Susan Dickinson, head of the Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration (AFTD).


“What I’m learning is that dementia is hard,” Emma 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 that this is a family disease, it really is.”



Frontotemporal dementia is an all-encompassing term for a group of brain disorders that threatens the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain. This means that parts of these lobes atrophy.



The shrinking of these areas can cause speech issues, emotional problems and changes in personality. Other symptoms can include loss of motor skills including problems walking, swallowing or muscle spasms.


Written by PH

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