Bruce Willis’s wife Emma is ‘grateful for the daughters she shares with Bruce’

Last week, Bruce Willis’s family came out and publicly discussed Bruce’s aphasia diagnosis. Aphasia is a neurological condition which can affect speech, reading, writing and everything else. People can’t remember how to speak or communicate, and there are different variations of aphasia and different causes. The Willis family hasn’t shared what caused Bruce’s aphasia, but they did say that he’s now retired from acting. The family includes his daughters with Demi Moore, his wife Emma Heming and his two young daughters with Emma. They’re all looking after him and trying to ensure his comfort.

Bruce Willis’ loved ones are cherishing every memory together in the wake of his aphasia diagnosis. The 67-year-old Die Hard actor’s family revealed on social media last week that he is “stepping away from the career that has meant so much to him” after “experiencing some health issues,” including a recent diagnosis with aphasia that is “impacting his cognitive abilities.”

A source tells PEOPLE in this week’s cover story that Willis’ loved ones are more grateful than ever for joyful family times, including celebrating Mabel’s 10th birthday two days after announcing his retirement.

“Emma is especially grateful for the daughters she shares with Bruce,” the source says. “Everyone is focused on all the happy moments they are able to share.”

The star’s family is “doing whatever they can [to support him],” a source close to Willis says, adding, “They have rallied around him in a big way to help Bruce cope with what is to come.”

A source close to Emma, whom Willis wed in 2009, says, “As someone facing health challenges, Bruce couldn’t be part of a better family. It’s been shocking. And it’s not easy seeing a spouse decline. But she’s trying to keep it together for him.”

As the couple put it in 2016 when talking to PEOPLE, they experienced love at first sight: “When we first met, I was surprised at how charming and how funny he was — and extremely handsome. That was my first thought of you,” Emma said at the time. Willis added, “I was already in love with her.”

[From People]

Aphasia is one of the conditions with bad days and good days. Sometimes someone will wake up and be able to function and communicate as usual, and some days they just won’t be able to do much of anything. I would imagine the bulk of caretaking has fallen on Emma, regardless. The only good thing about this story is that Bruce amassed enough resources across his professional life that his family can afford the best care for him, and he can stay at home and see his wife and daughters every day.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid.

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16 Responses to “Bruce Willis’s wife Emma is ‘grateful for the daughters she shares with Bruce’”

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  1. Eggbert says:

    I’m curious if it’s progressive like Alzheimer’s or if he had a stroke or brain injury. My mom was diagnosed with young onset Alzheimer’s at age 58. It progressed quickly and was as traumatic and nightmarish as you’d imagine.

    • Songs (Or It Didn't Happen) says:

      I’m so sorry for your mom and for your family having to go through that. 💚

    • Laura says:

      So sorry, it’s bad enough when it develops late in life but having to endure it at such a young age is horrible.

    • LoryD75 says:

      It is progressive. There are several dementia-based illnesses, like Aphasia, and they all present very similarly, but usually stems from brain damage—from concussions or a stroke. My FIL has it, and is his condition is very similar to my father’s, who had Alzheimer’s.

  2. Songs (Or It Didn't Happen) says:

    I know there is a big age difference so there might have been health issues eventually anyway, but I keep going back to think about the heartbreak of falling in love, marrying and building a family with someone, then less than 15 years later, you’re losing them to cognitive problems. Those young kids. It’s just awful to think about.

    • Case says:

      Good comment. Yes, there’s an age difference, but people can become disabled or sick at any point in life without warning. My dad cared for my mom when she went through chemo in her 40s. People get in life changing accidents and develop conditions all the time, so this is really just a matter of “in sickness and in health” regardless of age.

      I wish their family the best. I think it’s great that Demi and his older children are so close to Emma and his younger children. Seems like he has a lot of love in his life.

  3. Liz version 700 says:

    Jeez this makes me feel so sad. I lost my dad to Alzheimer’s in 2017 and the process of seeing his decline was hard on me as a middle aged adult. What a difficult thing to deal with as young children. I hope his wife and all of his children have a lot of support. I am glad he has so many people surrounding him with care.

  4. Lizziebuck says:

    It now makes sense why Bruce and Emma and their children stayed at Demi’s early in the pandemic.

  5. BlueNailsBetty says:

    It’s also a good thing his family loves him beyond measure and they are happy to help him with this challenge.

  6. kim says:

    There are many articles out there that this has been brewing for a long time, with signs reported in 2019. And towards present day, having him on set and “acting” seemed really really bad. He didn’t know why he was there, was being fed his lines and had handlers. Eventually directors refused to work with him as it seemed really bad. There appears to be a lot of gray areas in this story.

  7. Flounder says:

    Aphasia is a symptom. Not a diagnosis.

  8. Yo says:

    Aphasia is a symptom, not a disease. It’s aphasia not Aphasia. It doesn’t make people cognitively challenged. There’s something else going on, aphasia is part of it but they’re keeping private WHY. Respect that stop spreading misinformation people, please!!!

    • Julia K says:

      It’s been reported elsewhere that aphasia and cognitive dysfunction are symptoms of frontal temporal degeneration. It seems that is what they’re calling this.

    • AMJ says:

      This. I believe they’re using “aphasia” as shorthand for primary progressive aphasia, which is a subtype of frontotemporal degeneration disease. I guess they wanted it to sound less like “dementia”, but to be honest I wish they used the full diagnosis. There’s so much stigma around dementia. On one hand it’s something people are ashamed of. On other, many people are aware neither of how dementia patients can live a good life (at least for a time) nor of the challenges the caregivers face. If more famous patients and their families were open about it, social perspective could change for the better.