'I have cried so much': Bill star Chris Ellison's wife discusses his aphasia diagnosis

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Chris Ellison played the role of DCI Burnside on the popular ITV series The Bill from 1984 to 2000. The actor’s life took a dramatic turn 18 months ago when he was diagnosed with aphasia following a stroke. The condition – a brain disorder whereby a person has difficulty with their language or speech – has been lifted from obscurity after Bruce Willis recently went public about his own diagnosis.

Accompanied by his wife Anita, Chris went on ITV’s Good Morning Britain to provide insight into his own battle with aphasia and how it has rocked both of their lives over the last 18 months.

Anita explained how Chris would often “feel embarrassed and would grab my arm because he couldn’t speak”.

She continued: “We have been like hermits really. Haven’t gone out at all.”

Bruce Willis going public about his own aphasia diagnosis has given Chris a newfound sense of confidence, Anita added.

READ MORE: What is wrong with Bruce Willis? Aphasia explained – main symptoms and condition in full

How is aphasia treated?

The Mayo Clinic explains: “Once the cause has been addressed, the main treatment for aphasia is speech and language therapy.”

According to the health body, the person with aphasia relearns and practices language skills and learns to use other ways to communicate.

“Family members often participate in the process, helping the person communicate.”

Because aphasia is often a sign of a serious problem, such as a stroke, the health body says to seek emergency medical care if you suddenly develop:

  • Difficulty speaking
  • Trouble understanding speech
  • Difficulty with word recall
  • Problems with reading or writing.


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