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February 17, 2009

John Suchet speaks out about wife dementia for first time

By Jon Slattery

Former ITV News presenter John Suchet has spoken for the first time about his wife Bonnie’s dementia.

In a moving interview on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme this morning, Suchet told how the disease was slowly robbing him of his wife of more than 20 years.

Bonnie Suchet, 67, was diagnosed with dementia three years ago, after sporadic instances of forgetfulness and confusion.

He said: “I have to stop myself from saying, ‘You weren’t like that before.’ I have to remind myself it’s not my Bonnie who’s talking.

“She’s gone. And yet she’s physically still there.”

Suchet is taking part in a fundraising event in central London, in aid of For Dementia, the charity which funds Admiral Nurses.

He has access to the specialist help because he lives in a part of London where the NHS has paid for eight such nurses.

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There are only about 70 Admiral Nurses in England, Suchet told the Today programme: “There should be 70,000 of them.”

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