Emilia Clarke opened up about suffering two brain aneurysms in a candid new piece for The New Yorker.
The 32-year-old, who is known for playing Daenerys Targaryen in “Game of Thrones”, kept quiet about her near-death experience up until now.
She wrote in the powerful piece, “On the morning of February 11, 2011, I was getting dressed in the locker room of a gym in Crouch End, North London, when I started to feel a bad headache coming on. I was so fatigued that I could barely put on my sneakers. When I started my workout, I had to force myself through the first few exercises.”
“Then my trainer had me get into the plank position, and I immediately felt as though an elastic band were squeezing my brain. I tried to ignore the pain and push through it, but I just couldn’t. I told my trainer I had to take a break.”
“Somehow, almost crawling, I made it to the locker room. I reached the toilet, sank to my knees, and proceeded to be violently, voluminously ill. Meanwhile, the pain – shooting, stabbing, constricting pain – was getting worse. At some level, I knew what was happening: my brain was damaged.”
Clarke explained how she was sent for a brain scan before she was told she’d suffered “a subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), a life-threatening type of stroke, caused by bleeding into the space surrounding the brain. I’d had an aneurysm, an arterial rupture.”
She said of working while ill, “Even before we began filming Season 2, I was deeply unsure of myself. I was often so woozy, so weak, that I thought I was going to die.”
The actress, who was filming “GoT” while dealing with her health struggles, then had to undergo more surgery in 2013 after doctors discovered that a growth on the other side of her brain had doubled in size and they needed to act on it.
Clarke then said of the second surgery, “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.”
Although the healing time for the second operation was a lot, Clarke said she’s now so thankful that she’s alive and that her health is “at 100 per cent.”
After the piece was published, Clarke then shared a thank you video message with her fans.
She added, “I can’t quite believe how many of you this has affected,” before posting a link where others could share their stories.
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🙏🏻 A million million thank you’s to everyone who has read shared and sent love for my story, it’s a beautiful thing to behold and I can’t quite believe how many of you this has affected! #❤️@sameyouorg is ready to hear your stories, how you recovered and what could have made that recovery experience better. By hearing your stories we can build a case for an improved aftercare experience for all in the future…who wouldn’t want that! #sameyoucharity #love #sometimestheworldshowsyouwhatkindesslookslike #thankyou #❤️ #💪🏻 #🙌