Robin Williams’ Final Days And Battle With Lewy Body Dementia Revealed In New Documentary

Robin Williams’ Final Days And Battle With Lewy Body Dementia Revealed In New Documentary

Lewy Body Dementia, a degenerative brain disease, is the second most common form of dementia after Alzheimer’s disease, accounting for approximately 10 percent of all diagnosed cases of dementia in Canada. LBD affects every aspect of a person, with symptoms including impaired thinking, memory loss, tremors, difficulty moving, visual hallucinations, paranoia, depression, and changes in autonomic body functions. With no specific test to diagnose Lewy Body Dementia, and with many of the same signs and symptoms as other forms of dementia, LBD is often misdiagnosed, leading health officials to estimate the number of cases is likely higher.

Lewy Body Dementia first reached the mainstream public’s attention in August 2014 following the tragic death of Hollywood actor and comedian Robin Williams, whose autopsy following his suicide revealed that he was, unbeknownst to him, battling LBD. Now, six years later, a new documentary titled “Robin’s Wish” is set to offer an intimate look at his final days, as well as insight into the neurological disease the comic legend was fighting against.

The documentary, available digitally and on VOD September 1, features the comedian’s widow, Susan Schneider Williams, as well as several of Williams’ Hollywood friends and colleagues.

“My husband had unknowingly been battling a deadly disease,” Schneider Williams explained in a statement. “Nearly every region of his brain was under attack. He experienced himself disintegrating… During the last year of his life, Robin was confronted with anxiety, paranoia, insomnia, scary altered realities and a roller coaster of hope and despair. With our medical team’s care, we chased a relentless parade of symptoms but with very little gain. It wasn’t until after Robin’s passing, in autopsy, that the source of his terror was revealed: he had diffuse Lewy Body Disease. It was one of the worst cases medical professionals had seen.”

Following his death, Schneider Williams “set out on a mission to understand” the disease, and what she discovered along the way “was bigger than me, and bigger than Robin. The full story was revealed during the making of this film and it holds the truth that Robin and I had been searching for.”

The documentary’s title, Schneider Williams says, is based on the star’s desire “to help all of us be less afraid. That was Robin’s wish. We had been discussing what we wanted our legacies to be in life; when it was our time to go, how we wanted to have made people feel. Without missing a beat, Robin said, ‘I want to help people be less afraid.’”
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