Sad and shocking news in today's National Post about Ralph Klein... along with emphysema he has now been diagnosed with a progressive form of dementia.
Love him or hate him, this is not the kind of thing a man like Klein deserves. His sharp wit defined his reign as Alberta's premier and it's sad to see that gone. It somehow seems.... wrong.
Like Ronald Regan getting Alzheimer's... this is not how a man as vibrant as Klein should end his days.
In Ralph and Colleen Klein's cosy living room in Calgary's southwest, sadness and tears mingle with occasional laughter as Colleen finally tells the full story of the former Alberta premier's failing health.
Mrs. Klein does almost all the talking, because Ralph can't. The quickest tongue in Canadian politics is being silenced by a progressive form of dementia.
After months of uncertainty -and long delays in seeing specialists -the Kleins learned last Friday that Mr. Klein, 68, suffers from what's called "frontal temporal dementia, consistent with primary progressive aphasia."
For Mr. Klein, that means extreme difficulty in recalling and comprehending words, as well as reading and writing. His speech, once fluid and lightning-fast, is now limited to short words and set phrases.