John Travolta Shares Touching Tribute To Bruce Willis Following His Aphasia Diagnosis

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Last week, we learned that Bruce Willis has been diagnosed with aphasia, which is a medical condition that affects the ability to communicate. Due to this condition, Willis has decided to stop acting.

Willis’s ex-wife, Demi Moore, broke the news on Instagram. The post was signed by Moore, Willis’ current wife, Emma Willis, and all of Willis’s children.

It is not clear how severe Willis’s aphasia is, how long he has been suffering from it, or what type he has, but deciding to quit acting is a big step that clearly means aphasia is having a huge impact on his life.

Early in his career, Willis worked with fellow actor John Travolta on a couple big roles. They both acted in the movies “Pulp Fiction” and “Look Who’s Talking.” They were more than actors. They also became friends.

In response to the news about his friend’s medical condition, Travolta decided to share a touching tribute to Willis on Instagram. He posted two photos. He also wrote about their friendship. Travolta explained, “Bruce and I became good friends when we shared 2 of our biggest hits together, Pulp Fiction and Look Who’s Talking. Years later he said to me, ‘John, I just want you to know that when something good happens to you, I feel like it’s happening to me.’ That’s how generous a soul he is. I love you Bruce.”


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A post shared by John Travolta (@johntravolta)

While aphasia impact’s a person’s ability to communicate, it does not change who the person is in any other way. They still have the same thoughts, feelings and personality. They just can’t express those thoughts clearly and/or understand what other people are saying.

About 35% of people with aphasia suffer from depression as a result of their communication issues. We can only imagine how hard it must be not to be able to clearly communicate with friends and family.

We do not know what type of aphasia Willis has, but there are four types of aphasia. People who have Wernicke’s aphasia have the ability to string words into long sentences, but sometimes the words are made up or the sentences don’t make sense. Meanwhile, people with Broca’s aphasia often use sentences that are 4 words or less because even though their brain knows what they want to say, they can’t get the words out.

Another type of aphasia is known as anomic aphasia. People with this type of aphasia speak vaguely because they have trouble thinking of more specific verbs and nouns. 

The most severe type of aphasia is Primary Progressive Aphasia. This is when a person has trouble with all types of communication. Reading, writing and speaking all become very difficult. They also have trouble understanding what is being said when someone is speaking to them.

Aphasia is often caused by a stroke, but it can come on in other ways as well. Communication is complex, and any sort of brain damage can impact the ability to communicate clearly.