Bruce Willis’s wife says the actor’s 68th birthday has left her feeling intense “grief and sadness” about his deteriorating health.
“I think it’s important that you see all sides of this,” Emma Heming Willis said in an emotional video she shared on her Instagram page for Willis’s birthday this past Sunday. She said she “started the morning by crying,” her eyes puffy and her nose “snotty.”
She made her emotional Instagram post while editing a video to share in celebration of Willis, who has been diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia. His condition has progressed, his family said earlier this year, calling the condition “cruel.”
“The videos are like a knife in my heart,” she said. “But as much as I do it for myself, I do it for you. Because I know how much you love my husband.”
In the caption of the video, she wrote: “My birthday wish for Bruce is that you continue to keep him in your prayers and highest vibrations because his sensitive Pisces soul will feel it. Thank you so much for loving and caring for him, too.”
Actor Demi Moore also shared birthday wishes for Willis, her ex-husband, on Instagram, along with a video from his birthday party in a kitchen surrounded by loved ones, a pie acting as his birthday cake as he blew out candles. In the video, Willis stumbles slightly and rests his arm on the kitchen island for the majority of it.
“Happy birthday, BW!” Moore wrote in the caption. “So glad we could celebrate you today. Love you and love our family.”
Bruce Willis’s family shared he has frontotemporal dementia earlier
Nearly a year after Bruce Willis’ family announced that he would step away from acting after being diagnosed with aphasia, his family said his “condition has progressed.”
In a statement posted in February, the actor’s family said Willis has a more specific diagnosis of frontotemporal dementia (FTD).
“While this is painful, it is a relief to finally have a clear diagnosis,” the statement posted to the Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration’s website reads. “FTD is a cruel disease that many of us have never heard of and can strike anyone.”
The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration describes FTD as a group of brain disorders caused by degeneration of the frontal and/or temporal lobes of the brain that affects behaviour, language and movement. Aphasia can be a symptom of it.
The condition can lead to speech and language issues and behavioural problems, and tends to occur in younger people. Life expectancies for people with FTD can be reduced to six to eight years after symptoms occur, but some people live much longer.
There is currently no cure for FTD.
Bruce Willis stepped away from acting in 2022
Willis stepped away from acting last year after his aphasia diagnosis.
Over his four-decade career, Willis’s movies had earned more than $5 billion (U.S.) at the worldwide box office. While beloved for hits like “Die Hard” and “The Sixth Sense,” the prolific actor had in recent years primarily featured in direct-to-video thrillers
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