Like Bruce Willis, I Have Aphasia. Here's What Life Is Like With This Incurable Disorder.
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Like Bruce Willis, I Have Aphasia. Here’s What Life Is Like With This Incurable Disorder.

When news broke on March 30 that Bruce Willis is retiring from acting (at least for the time being) because of aphasia, it may have been the first time many people had heard of the condition. For me, however, aphasia has become a core part of my constant reality, affecting me every day, all day long.

Four years ago, my brain took an unexpected detour. I suffered a stroke in my sleep. It happened suddenly without any warning. I had no symptoms or risk factors.

Afterward, the physical signs that I had a stroke were obvious. The fact that I couldn’t use my right hand at all was impossible to ignore. In the immediate aftermath, trying to regain my physical strength and abilities took all of my mental focus. I considered myself lucky — and I was. I didn’t lose my ability to walk, and I could still speak.


Read the full story in HuffPost.

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Bobbi Dempsey is the author of several nonfiction books, including Degrees of Desperation: The Working-Class Struggle to Pay for College. She has been writing for EHRP since 2018, including resonant personal essays on her own experience of poverty. She has also written for The Guardian, The Atlantic, The New York Times, and Harper’s, winning an award from the American Society of Journalists & Authors.

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