As Etienne went on to report, "Heming Willis, 44, shared a photo of her husband on Instagram, revealing that the actor's condition has worsened since the family first revealed his aphasia diagnosis last year."
"Our family wanted to start by expressing our deepest gratitude for the incredible outpouring of love, support, and wonderful stories we have all received since sharing Bruce's original diagnosis," Emma wrote. "In the spirit of that, we wanted to give you an update about our beloved husband, father, and friend since we now have a deeper understanding of what he is experiencing."
"Since we announced Bruce's diagnosis of aphasia in spring 2022, Bruce's condition has progressed and we now have a more specific diagnosis: frontotemporal dementia (known as FTD)," she continued. "Unfortunately, challenges with communication are just one symptom of the disease Bruce faces. While this is painful, it is a relief to finally have a clear diagnosis."
Heming Willis continued further, "Bruce always believed in using his voice in the world to help others and to raise awareness about important issues both publicly and privately. "We know in our hearts that – if he could today — he would want to respond by bringing global attention and a connectedness with those who are also dealing with this debilitating disease and how it impacts so many individuals and their families."
"Bruce has always found joy in life – and has helped everyone he knows to do the same," Emma concluded. "It has meant the world to see that sense of care echoed back to him and to all of us. We have been so moved by the love you have all shared for our dear husband, father, and friend during this difficult time. Your continued compassion, understanding, and respect will enable us to help Bruce live as full a life as possible."
According to Mayo Clinic, aphasia "is a condition that robs you of the ability to communicate. It can affect your ability to speak, write and understand language, both verbal and written."
The group adds that the condition "typically occurs suddenly after a stroke or a head injury. But it can also come on gradually from a slow-growing brain tumor or a disease that causes progressive, permanent damage (degenerative)."
People with aphasia experience changes in their ability to communicate, the Mayo Clinic says, and they "may speak in short or incomplete sentences, speak in sentences that don't make sense, substitute one word for another or one sound for another, speak unrecognizable words, not understand other people's conversation or write sentences that don't make sense."
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