Tom Coughlin shared a heartbreaking update regarding his wife, Judy.
When recently asked why she was not in any of the photos from their Jay Fund Foundation events, a local nonprofit that provides support for families tackling childhood cancer, he explained with a heavy heart.
In an article published on the New York Times and written by the former Jacksonville Jaguars coach and team’s exec, he revealed he is providing full-time care to his wife as she battles an incurable disease.
She was officially diagnosed last year with progressive supranuclear palsy, a rare brain disorder that causes problems with movement, walking and balance, and eye movement, “after several years of doctors trying to pinpoint the disease that has been slowly taking her from us,” Coughlin wrote.
“Our hearts are broken. Judy has been everything to our family. For the past four years, we’ve helplessly watched her go from a gracious woman with a gift for conversation, hugging all the people she met and making them feel they were the most important person in the room, to losing almost all ability to speak and move,” he wrote.
PHOTOS: Judy Coughlin over the years
Coughlin also shared how caregiving has been mentally and physically exhausting. “I’ve spent my entire life preparing for some of the biggest games a person could play, but nothing can prepare you to be a caregiver who has to watch a loved one slip away,” he said.
The 74-year-old said he isn’t looking for sympathy. He spent the past year protecting her privacy and dignity, but ultimately decided to share the update on her condition because what he and his family are experiencing, could be helpful to others.
“It’s not easy. And for all those wondering how they can help, it’s simple: Don’t forget about the caregivers,” he wrote.
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