In 2016, Becky Barletta, 32, was diagnosed with fronto-temporal dementia, a neurodegenerative disease that progressively alters certain areas of the brain. She is one of the youngest in the country to have been diagnosed.
Until two years ago, Becky Barletta had everything to be happy. This young blonde, ski instructor had met her future husband on the slopes of Verbier, Switzerland. Passionate about photography and outdoor life, she was married in October 2015 and planned to buy a big house where she could have found a family and receive her loved ones during the holidays.
But in 2016, the life of Becky Barletta has rocked. “He was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia,” his sister Sophie Gilbert tells People magazine . “We were told that his life expectancy was estimated between 5 and 10. Our world collapsed.”
The youngest case of dementia diagnosed in the UK
The frontotemporal dementia with Becky suffers is a neurodegenerative disease often confused with Alzheimer’s. It affects men as well as women, and usually occurs between the ages of 50 and 60 and is characterized by language and behavioral disturbances and intellectual deterioration. This state, which is called “dementia” from a certain threshold of severity, is due to the progressive deterioration of certain parts of the brain . It also reduces the life expectancy of those who have it, as Becky Berlatta does.
According to his sister, his condition quickly declined. According to her doctor, she is the youngest person to have been diagnosed in the UK. She now lives with her parents and receives care 24 hours a day. Unable to drink or eat alone, she can not talk either. Only walks are still possible, but his body continues to weaken.
In People , Sophie Gilbert reports that the first signs of illness appeared about 6 months before Becky’s wedding. His behavior, in particular, was no longer the same. “She started exercising obsessively, going to the gym about three times a day and running 10 miles, we thought it was because of the stress of the wedding and I was hoping that it would be better when they got married and things calmed down. “
But her condition continued to worsen and worry her family members, who found her altered, as disconnected, while traveling together to Barbados. A week after her return, Becky was suspended at work for inappropriate behavior.
According to her sister, Becky is not the only case of dementia in the family: their mother’s brother was also diagnosed when he was in his fifties. But Becky initially refuses to be tested, believing she is far too young to be affected by this disease. “We really had to persuade her to go,” says her sister. “I told her, ‘I want to go for the test, I want to know more about the hereditary side of the disease.'” Finally, she said that she would come with me and we both went. “
A month later, the diagnosis falls: Becky suffers from frontotemporal dementia. “We had prepared for the news, but we were still devastated.”
A spectacular progression of the disease
Today, Becky is only a shadow of what she was before: a beautiful young woman with life in front of her. “She does not really talk anymore,” Sophie tells DailyMail . Until a few months ago, she could still tell stories – always the same, but now “she just whispers things under her breath”.
“The most shocking thing is the difference between what she is and what she should be,” her sister continues. “Because she was so vivacious, it’s the most horrible, she had just got married and it breaks my heart because she will never have children.”
“There’s nothing behind his eyes, just that empty look,” Sophie told People last year . “Wondering what’s going on in her head, I just hope she’s happy in her own little world.”
Today, Becky’s family is struggling to raise awareness of frontotemporal dementia among the general public and “make people aware that it can strike anyone at any time . 50 and even in his thirties “. Last year, Sophie and her family hosted an Internet fundraiser to help the Alzheimer Society, which funds dementia research, and raised 15,000 books.