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Tom Coughlin is best known as the head coach of the New York Giants, whose discipline and attention to detail led the team to two Super Bowl wins. Coughlin is writing today for Times Opinion about a very different challenge – caring for his ailing wife, Judy, who suffers from progressive supranuclear palsy, a brain disorder with no known cure.
PSP is rare – when I tried to find out how many Americans die from it each year, I couldn’t find the number. In 2019, however, it included my stepfather, Walid Hindo. Baghdad-born Dr Hindo moved his young family in the 1960s to the United States, where he became a renowned radiologist and an active member of his Syriac Catholic Church.
If you have ever cared for a gravely ill or grieving loved one, you will understand how illness and death reshape the world. PSP is a disease that, as Coughlin explains, robs you of your loved one, even before death. In his later years, Dr Hindo’s large extended family and religious community rallied to take care of him – along with many doctors, home helpers, specialists, therapists, nurses and social workers – but the majority of the the job of coordinating his care still fell to his daughters and his wife.