Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke had life-threatening strokes
‘I nearly lost my mind and then my life,’ says British actor who suffered two brain aneurysm
Emilia Clarke: had to have surgery following bleeds on her brain. Photograph: Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images
Game of Thrones actor Emilia Clarke revealed she suffered a life-threatening strokes. She had a potentially fatal brain haemorrhage in 2011 before undergoing major surgery that left her unable to recall her own name.
Clarke (32), who plays Mother of Dragons Daenerys Targaryen in the medieval fantasy series, spoke of her brushes with death for the first time in a personal essay for The New Yorker magazine.
Her article was published ahead of the highly-anticipated final season of Game of Thrones, which hits TV screens on April 14th.
The British actor said had a brain aneurysm in early 2011 at age of 24, shortly after she finished filming the first season of Game of Thrones. A second occurred in 2013, after she finished filming for season three.
A brain aneurysm is a bulge in a blood vessel that can prove fatal if it bursts.
“Just when all my childhood dreams seemed to have come true, I nearly lost my mind and then my life,” Clarke wrote in the essay, titled Battle for My Life.
She had brain surgery that left her with aphasia – a condition affecting people who have suffered brain trauma that leaves them with speech problems.
“I could see my life ahead, and it wasn’t worth living,” Clarke wrote. “I am an actor; I need to remember my lines. Now I couldn’t recall my name.”
Returning to film season two of the show, Clarke said she was often so woozy and weak she feared she would die. She sipped morphine to make it through press interviews.
In 2013, a second, more extensive surgery, resulted in a one-month hospital stay marked by panic attacks and a loss of hope.
“Going through this experience for the second time, all hope receded . . . I do remember being convinced that I wasn’t going to live,” she wrote.
Clarke said she was now healthy and had decided to throw herself into SameYou, a charity for brain injury survivors she helped develop.
“There is something gratifying, and beyond lucky, about coming to the end of ‘Thrones,’” she wrote. “I’m so happy to be here to see the end of this story and the beginning of whatever comes next.” – Reuters/PA