Bruce Willis' Condition Worsens as Family Shares 'Cruel' Diagnosis

Chisom Ndianefo
Close up of Bruce Willis
Getty | Pacific Press

Bruce Willis' health condition gets worse after his Aphasia diagnosis last year. His family shared a new update saying the deterioration has reached his brain and caused an early onset of dementia.

Early Retirement

The 67-year-old's poor health forced him to retire earlier than planned as his body couldn't withstand the rigors of being on set, nor could his memory retain lines for long. Unfortunately, the family didn't get the silver lining they expected after visiting the hospital for a routine checkup.

Clear Health Diagnosis

In a statement released via The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration, the Die Hard star's family revealed that he has frontotemporal dementia (FTD.) Although the diagnosis broke their heart, the Willis clan is grateful for clarity as it lets them know what to expect with Willis.

The First Statement

Immediately the family got the first Aphasia diagnosis, Willis' children, wife, Emma Heming, and ex-wife, Demi Moore rallied around him. They released a statement on Instagram saying,

"Bruce has been experiencing some health issues and has recently been diagnosed with aphasia, which is impacting his cognitive abilities."

Grateful For Support

Statement from the Willis family
The AFTD Organization | The Willis Family

The AFTD Statement started with the family thanking fans for their long-standing support in the last ten months. They also highlighted the monetary aid they received from family and friends, saying it showed the donors loved Willis as much as they did.

Symptoms Of FTD

The primary symptom of FTD is degenerative communication skills and sometimes a complete loss. Before receiving the FTD diagnosis, Willis had already exhibited symptoms of the illness, which presented as Aphasia. He gradually lost his cognitive and locomotive skills causing directors to drop him from lined-up productions until Willis forcefully retired.

No Cure For FTD

Statement from the Willis Family
The AFTD Organization | The Willis Family

Unfortunately, there's no cure for FTD despite it being the leading type of Dementia in seniors below 60. The family asked the media to use Willis' case to shed light on the disease rather than focus on his deteriorating health.

Spreading Joy Worldwide

Concluding statement from The Willis Family
The AFTD Organization | The Willis Family

Shedding light on FTD would please Willis because his mission has always been to spread joy worldwide. He did that with his movies in the late 1980s, starting with the Die Hard franchise.

Early Acting Career

In 1985, Willis joined the television series Moonlighting and became a famous comedic actor of his era. Within the show's five seasons, the actor won a Golden Globe and Emmy Award for Best Actor.

Becoming An Action Movie Star

Bruce Willis in Die Hard
Giphy | Giffffr

By 1988, Willis adopted the persona of John McClane in what would become a cult-classic action movie, Die Hard. He went on to star in four iterations of the franchise, including Die Hard 2 (1990), Die Hard with Vengeance (1995) and Die Hard 4 (2008).

The Nineties

Bruce Willis with Uma Thurman, Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta in a Pulp Fiction promo photo
Flickr | met52

In 1994, Willis starred in the award-wining movie by Quentin Tarantino movie, Pulp Fiction, and in 1999, he featured in The Sixth Sense by M. Night Shyamalan. Both movies cemented Willis as an action movie star.

The End Of His Career

At the beginning of the 2020s, Willis' career went downward as he became a regular in independent movies sparking concerns for his health. It wasn't until two years later that his family confirmed his degenerative illness.

What's Dementia?

An X-ray of the brain
Unsplash | Xiao Cui

Dementia is a degenerative illness that often affects the brain and manifests differently. The most common result is a long-term impact on memory, thinking, and language, all symptoms of Alzheimer's and its likes.

Causes Of FTD

FTD occurs when toxic proteins pool in the brain's frontal (forehead) and temporal (ears) lobes causing the brain cells a slow but sure death.

According to BBC, on average, people diagnosed with FTD live for eight to ten years post-diagnosis before death. Some people die earlier, while others survive longer than the doctors' posit.

Condolences And Sympathy Online

Willis' colleagues also share their condolences and sympathize with his family as the actor endures this tumultuous time.

Courage To Speak Up

Close up of Maria Shriver
Flickr | peter.hadermann

Maria Shriver thanked the Willis family for revealing Bruce's condition as it gave others the courage to face their struggles.

A Comedic Genius

Fans remember the actor as a jovial comedian rather than a sickly retiree. Watch a video of him on Comedy Central above.

FTD And Dementia Are Genetic

Regular Twitter users also share their struggles with FTD like one Trixie Beresford who said it's genetic and hard to diagnose.

Fear Of The Future

Fans fear that the next update form the family won't be pleasing as there hasn't been good news from the Willis family since the Aphasia revelation.

Stay Tuned For Updates

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