Emma Heming Willis continues to look at the positives while her husband, Bruce Willis, continues to battle multiple health conditions that are not only worsening, but are impacting his ability to live a normal life. The 45-year-old mother of two recently spoke with Hoda Kotb about her optimism and positive spirit.
Emma described Bruce as the ‘gift that keeps on giving’ and explained how her husband’s health battle is teaching their two daughters – Mabel Ray Willis, 11, and Evelyn Penn Willis, 9 – about ‘love, patience, resilience’ and much more. She admits it’s not an ideal way to learn these things, but it is the reality of it.
Of course, the daughters aren’t the only ones who are learning from Bruce – Emma is, too. “And he is teaching me. You know, for me to be out here doing this… this is not my comfort zone but, like, this is the power of Bruce,” Emma said. And now, she’s helping to raise awareness about Bruce and his battle.
For those who need a refresher, Bruce Willis was diagnosed with aphasia – a language disorder that affects a person’s ability to communicate – in March 2022 before being diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia (FTD) – a rare form of dementia that impacts behavior and communication – in February 2023.
“Him and our girls, who are watching — I got the whole family watching — they’re rooting me on. I’m here to raise awareness but to also make them proud,” Emma Heming Willis said to Hoda Kotb. While she admits the double diagnosis has been hard on the family, she’s doing her best to look on the bright side.
For example, her two young daughters are learning some very important and valuable lessons as their father continues his battle. It’s something she has opened up about in the past and something she believes will continue to have a positive impact on their lives as they learn to overcome their struggles.
“Listen, I think my kids would be great no matter what and this is not what I would want for them. But really, like I said, it’s teaching them so much — how to care and love — and it’s really a beautiful thing amongst the sadness,” Emma says – adding that ‘Bruce would really want us to be in the joy of what is.’
Bruce Willis Has His Entire Family By His Side
On May 22 – a few months after learning of Bruce Willis’ dementia diagnosis – Emma Heming Willis shared a beautiful story about how their 9-year-old daughter, Evelyn, is taking care of her father through love, awareness, and… fun facts. She shared the story on Instagram and it’ll make your heart melt.
The fun fact her daughter shared with her was simple – people with dementia can become extremely dehydrated. It had Emma stumped for a moment because she had no idea where her daughter learned the fun fact – especially since it’s not something most 9-year-olds know. So, she decided to ask Evelyn.
“Well, I was at school the other day, and I had some free time and I was looking at fun facts about dementia,” Evelyn said to her mother. Emma said they would make sure Daddy always has water and told her that learning about her father’s diagnosis was the most loving and compassionate thing she could do.
And it’s not just a fun fact – it could be a lifesaving one. According to the Alzheimer’s Society, people with dementia often forget to drink water, don’t realize they’re thirsty, or fail to communicate that they need water. Since dehydration can worsen their dementia symptoms, family members need to keep an eye out.
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