Bruce Willis’ family announced Wednesday that he has been diagnosed with aphasia and is be retiring from his decades-long profession.
According to the Mayo Clinic, aphasia is a medical disorder that affects a person’s ability to speak, write, and interpret language, both vocal and written. It usually happens after a stroke or a concussion.
“To Bruce’s incredible supporters, as a family, we wanted to share that our beloved Bruce has been experiencing some health issues and has recently been diagnosed with aphasia, which is affecting his cognitive abilities,” the 67-year-family old’s said in a statement shared to each of their Instagram accounts, adding that he will be “stepping away from the career that has meant so much to him.”
“This is a very difficult moment for our family, and we are grateful for your continuous love, compassion, and support,” the family said. “We’re going through this as a strong family unit, and we wanted to invite his followers in because we know how much he means to you as well as he does to us.”
“As Bruce always says, ‘Live it up,’ and together, we aim to do exactly that,” the statement said, which was signed by his wife, Emma Heming, and his five children, Rumer, 33, Scout, 30, Tallulah, 28, Mabel, 9, and Evelyn, 7.
Speech and language treatments are the most common treatment for aphasia, with family members helping the patient communicate. Aphasia is divided into three categories: expressive, comprehensive, and global.
A person who is expressive understands communication better than they can speak. The patient speaks in long, incomprehensible words in comprehensive, and has poor understanding and communication abilities in global.
Willis’ family has not revealed the source of his aphasia, but he has had a number of on-set injuries throughout the course of his career. Willis sued the producers of his 2003 action film “Tears of the Sun” for his injuries in 2004.
Willis’ lawsuit against Revolution Studios claimed that he suffered “extreme mental, physical, and emotional pain” after being struck on the forehead by a “projectile” during the special effects unit’s detonation of pyrotechnics the year before the film’s release, according to The Guardian at the time.
On the set of “Die Hard,” a machine gun shot particularly loud blanks, and he lost two-thirds of his hearing.
Willis has a number of post-production projects under his belt, including “Vendetta,” “Fortress: Sniper’s Eye,” and “White Elephant.” What will happen to “Fortress 3,” which is now in pre-production, is unknown.