Watch as Emilia announces her charity in the video below.
Video credit: U-Celebs
Game Of Thrones star Emilia Clarke has revealed that she suffered two brain aneurysms during the course of production of the HBO fantasy series.
In a candid personal piece published in The New Yorker, the 32-year-old who plays Daenerys Targaryen, aka Mother of Dragons, said she had her first aneurysm in 2011.
‘Just when all my childhood dreams seemed to have come true, I nearly lost my mind and then my life,’ the actress said. ‘I’ve never told this story publicly, but now it’s time.’
Khaleesi – as the star is nicknamed in the show – said she had just finished with the first season of the hit TV series and was working out with a trainer when she suffered her initial brain aneurysm.
Emilia, who was just 24 years of age at the time, used to tell herself that this would not be the end as she tried to overcome her fear for her life.
An MRI diagnosed the actress with a subarachnoid haemorrhage – a life-threatening stroke caused by bleeding around the patient’s brain.
Around 33 per cent of people who suffer from a subarachnoid haemorrhage die soon afterward. Emilia was fortunate to survive the three-hour surgery.
But the aftereffects were there.
She recalled how she forgot everything, even her name, a few days after the surgery. One night, when a nurse asked her full name as part of a series of cognitive exercises, she couldn’t remember it.
‘Nonsense words tumbled out of my mouth and I went into a blind panic,’ she said.
‘I’d never experienced fear like that—a sense of doom closing in. I could see my life ahead, and it wasn’t worth living. I am an actor; I need to remember my lines. Now I couldn’t recall my name.’
At several occasions, she wished to end her life and get rid of the pain.
‘In my worst moments, I wanted to pull the plug.’ Emilia said. ‘I asked the medical staff to let me die. My job—my entire dream of what my life would be—centered on language, on communication. Without that, I was lost.’
Though Emilia survived her first aneurysm, she was told by the doctors that she had another smaller aneurysm on the other side of her brain which could pop at any time.
‘It was small and it was possible it would remain dormant and harmless indefinitely. We would just keep a careful watch,’ she said.
Emilia didn’t get the rest required to heal herself of effects of the first surgery. She had to make a press tour for promoting the first season of the show.
During this time, the actress who felt like she’d die at any moment used to sip on morphine to make it through press interactions and interviews.
Then began the filming of season two.
‘Season 2 would be my worst,’ she said. ‘I didn’t know what Daenerys was doing. If I am truly being honest, every minute of every day I thought I was going to die.’
Emilia had to regularly go for a brain scan to check the growth of her other aneurysm. And it wasn’t long before she got another bad news.
‘The growth on the other side of my brain had doubled in size, and the doctor said we should take care of it,’ she wrote. ‘I was promised a relatively simple operation, easier than last time.
‘When they woke me, I was screaming in pain. The procedure had failed. I had a massive bleed and the doctors made it plain that my chances of surviving were precarious if they didn’t operate again.
‘This time they needed to access my brain in the old-fashioned way—through my skull. And the operation had to happen immediately.
‘The recovery was even more painful than it had been after the first surgery.’
‘I emerged from the operation with a drain coming out of my head,’ she said. ‘Bits of my skull had been replaced by titanium.’
After a few weeks, Emilia suffered an intense headache while she was attending Comic-Con. The pain was so severe that she thought it was the end for her.
At the time, her publicist told her that a reporter from MTV was waiting to interview her. Rather than avoiding the chat, the actress joked how she decided that it would be a great idea to die live on television.
Emilia still struggles to recall those dark times. She remembers how much she feared the word of her health being spread around and how she was totally convinced of dying at any moment.
When asked about the rumors of her operation following the second surgery, she quickly denied the allegation.
However, she now feels that this is the right time to speak out, acknowledging how she has been one of the fortunate people to receive an excellent level of care.
Emilia has now launched a charity called SameYou, which will help those who are recovering from brain stroke and other brain injuries.
“Game Of Thrones Stars Kit Harington And Rose Leslie Tie The Knot In Star-Studded Wedding In Scotland”