Bruce Willis's daughter shares heartbreaking update on his dementia battle

1 June 2023, 11:08 | Updated: 1 June 2023, 11:10

Bruce Willis' daughter Tallulah pens a heartbreaking letter about her father's health.
Bruce Willis' daughter Tallulah pens a heartbreaking letter about her father's health. Picture: Instagram/buuski

The Hollywood star was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia back in February.

Bruce Willis's daughter Tallulah has opened up about her father's dementia battle in a heartbreaking letter published this week.

The 29-year-old, whose mother is Hollywood star Demi Moore, wrote a candid essay for Vogue about 'grief', which details how her dad and wider family are coping with his declining health.

Explaining the Die Hard star's daily struggle with the condition, she confessed the 68-year-old spends most of his days at home listening to music and playing with his favourite trinkets.

"He likes things that feel heavy in the hand, that he can spin around in his fingers," said Tallulah.

As for his memory, the actress admitted that although he still recognises her, she's preparing for the day when he won't.

"He still knows who I am and lights up when I enter the room," she said.

"I keep flipping between the present and the past when I talk about Bruce: he is, he was, he is, he was. That’s because I have hopes for my father that I’m so reluctant to let go of."

Due to his dwindling brain function, Tallulah has tasked herself with taking lots of pictures and saving her dad's voicemails "for the day when he isn’t there to remind me of him and of us".

The Willis family first announced that Bruce had been diagnosed with aphasia – "a brain-mediated inability to speak or to understand speech" – in early 2022.

However following further tests, it was confirmed this was in fact a symptom of frontotemporal dementia – a serious and progressive neurological disorder that affects cognition and behaviour.

The diagnosis came as a shock to Tallulah and her family, but she admitted she knew something wasn't right with her father before receiving the medical reports.

"I’ve known that something was wrong for a long time," she explained.

"It started out with a kind of vague unresponsiveness, which the family chalked up to Hollywood hearing loss.

"Later that unresponsiveness broadened, and I sometimes took it personally."

The heartfelt letter also delved into Tallulah's personal battles, revealing that while her father was "quietly struggling", she was dealing with body dysmorphia and anorexia as part of Borderline Personality Disorder.

"I admit that I have met Bruce’s decline in recent years with a share of avoidance and denial that I’m not proud of," she said.

"The truth is that I was too sick myself to handle it."

Despite struggling with her own health, Tallulah said she is now trying to "savour time" with her dad but knows that "trials are looming".

"This is the beginning of grief," she added.

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