Actor Harrison Ford shed his tough-guy exterior today as he reportedly held back tears opening up about his daughter’s dealings with epilepsy. The usually private star opened up about his family while attending an event in support of epilepsy research in NYC, and spoke admirably of 26-year-old Georgia and how she has coped with her condition.
“When you have a loved one who suffers from this disease, it can be devastating,” he told the New York Daily News. “You know how it affects their lives, their future, their opportunities and you want desperately to find mitigation. You want to find a way that they can live a comfortable and effective life.”
He became emotional as he recalled his daughter had seizures and went undiagnosed for years before being told she had the condition.
The 73-year-old Hollywood veteran — who also has four sons — said that Georgia had her first seizure as a child during a sleepover and was simply prescribed with medicine for acute migraines. But the attacks kept recurring and the doctors were at a loss.
“A few years later she had another big one, this one on a beach in Malibu, where a Hollywood director found her, luckily,” he said of his daughter with his second wife, screenwriter Melissa Mathison. “I said to myself ‘This is Los Angeles, we have some of the best doctors in the world, they must know what’s wrong with her.’ But nothing was diagnosed as epilepsy.”
It was after his daughter (who is an actress) had another attack in London that the family decided to travel to New York for a second opinion, and thankfully, the decision was the right one. “We consulted Dr. Orinn Devinsky at NYU and he prescribed the right medication and therapy,” Ford explained “She has not had a seizure in eight years.”
Ford said his daughter was his inspiration in life: “I admire a lot of things about her. I admire her perseverance, her talent, her strength. She’s my hero. I love her,” he said.