Husband with FTD, Mistaken for Having Midlife Crisis, Profiled in UK Newspaper

Apathy stock photo

A UK-based newspaper highlighted persons impacted by FTD, including one man living with FTD who many believed was experiencing a midlife crisis instead of the effects of young-onset dementia.

Paul Coward, 64, and his wife, Melanie Coward, were featured in a May 16 article published in The Telegraph, sharing their story of being impacted by FTD. Melanie said in the article that she began noticing her husband acting oddly, which included a lack of empathy for their son, who had an eating disorder. What she and medical professionals mistook as a midlife crisis was instead FTD.

“He was still hands-on with our son’s care, driving him to appointments with the dietician and so on, but he couldn’t seem to understand what was going on,” Melanie shared in the article. “Paul would come out with inappropriate things like: ‘He just needs to put on weight.’ He’d always been such a loving dad and close to his children, but suddenly he didn’t seem to care about us very much. Initially, we put the changes down to stress, but two years passed, our son recovered, and one day he asked me: ‘Mum, why isn’t Dad better?’”

Catherine Parry, an academic from London, shared memories of her father who had behavioral variant FTD. He died at age 67.

“At 40, I’m one of very few of my close circle of friends to lose a parent. I am envious of people who still get to think of their fathers as a dad…I’m sad that I can’t remember my dad before his illness.”

Read the full Telegraph article here.

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