Conservative MP Lisa Raitt, husband open up about his Alzheimer’s diagnosis
Published Tuesday, May 8, 2018 6:04PM EDT
Deputy Conservative leader Lisa Raitt and her husband Bruce Wood appeared on CTV’s Power Play Tuesday to talk about how their lives have changed since Wood was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease two years ago.
“It hits you out of the blue,” Raitt, an Ontario MP, told Power Play host Don Martin. “You don’t expect the diagnosis.”
Wood was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s in May, 2016 at the age of 56. It started with misplacing everyday objects, he said.
“It was noticed at work that Bruce wasn’t as vocal in board meetings,” Raitt added. “The way it was explained to us is, he’s missing verbs and nouns but he can talk around the topics.”
Wood, who formerly served as president and CEO of the Hamilton Port Authority, is no longer working. But that, Raitt explained, has been something of a silver lining since the diagnosis.
“We actually have Bruce home more,” Raitt, who has two children from a previous marriage, said. “He’s a lot more present in our lives... And when we’re together on weekends, we’re really together on weekends.”
Contrary to expectations, the diagnosis was not earth-shattering, Wood said.
“I didn’t take it that way,” he explained. “It was one of these things: OK, here it is, let me at it and we’ll figure it out.”
Wood also thinks that he has many more years of independence left.
“I would say it’s going to take a long time,” he said of the disease’s progression. “The way I look at it… (I’m) still driving, doing all these things that I want to do.”
Wood urged anyone who thinks they may have Alzheimer’s to go and see their doctor.
“There are probably thousands of people out there that have the same disease and they don’t know,” he said. “Get your doctor and go see them -- you have to do that.”
Raitt also thanked Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer for giving her time to focus on her family life.
“This leader has been really supportive to me,” she said. “I’m grateful to Andrew.”