Robin Williams’ Widow Shares Story of his Heartbreaking Final Days
Robin Williams’ memory will always be in our hearts.
Two years after the actor’s death, his widow, Susan Schneider Williams, wrote an essay, titled “The Terrorist Inside my Husband’s Brain.”
In this devastating essay, Williams opens up about her husband’s last days for the medical journal Neurology. Throughout, she gives a detailed account of the unfortunate events that led to the star’s death.
“All four of the doctors I met with afterwards and who had reviewed his records indicated his was one of the worst pathologies they had seen,” Williams reveals. “He had about 40% loss of dopamine neurons and almost no neurons were free of Lewey bodies throughout the entire brain and brainstem.”
The famed actor had began showing unrelated symptoms, including “constipation, urinary difficulty, heartburn, sleeplessness and insomnia, and a poor sense of smell — and lots of stress.”
Williams does explain that anxiety wasn’t a new struggle for her husband (he also tackled depression for years too). But, she was concerned with how he dealt with it. Eventually, he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
“We had an answer,” said Williams. “My heart swelled with hope. But somehow, I knew Robin was not buying it.”
Despite the diagnosis, the actor went to therapy, exercised, and remained sober. At that point, Williams believed her husband was getting better. But, in time, things as we know took a turn for the worst. Sadly, Lewey body dementia (LBD) is frequently misdiagnosed as Parkinson’s, which was what happened to the late comedienne.
“Even if we experienced some level of comfort in knowing the name, and fleeting hope from temporary comfort with medications, the terrorist was still going to kill him,” Williams said.
In sharing her story, Williams hopes that readers will be feel the need to “turn Robin’s suffering into something meaningful.”
If you haven’t already, make sure to check out Susan Schneider Williams essay in Neurology to learn more about mental health awareness.
Rest in peace, Robin.