Emilia Clarke Opens Up About Brain Aneurysm And How It Almost Changed Her Entire Life

Written by on March 21, 2019

Fourth Estate Staff

Los Angeles, CA, United States (4E) – Emilia Clarke is evidently one of the biggest breakout stars of ‘Game of Thrones’, but her reign as Daenerys was almost cut short after she was struck with brain aneurysm after the first season of the show.

In an essay she wrote for The New Yorker, the actress revealed that she suffered a stroke sometime on February 11, 2011 after working out at a gym in London. She narrated that she was having a bad headache during a workout. When she excused herself to go to the locker room, she collapsed and started vomiting.

She was immediately rushed to a local hospital and doctors diagnosed her as have subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), a kind of stroke that is caused bleeding around the areas of the brain and considered life-threatening.

Clarke later learned that “a third of SAH die immediately or soon thereafter.” And for the patients that do survive, they require urgent treatment to close the aneurysm. The actress, still 24 at that time, was then transported to the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery to undergo brain surgery shortly after she was diagnosed.

As consequence of the trauma her brain had suffered, Clarke developed a condition called aphasia. At one point she forgot her name and was beginning to talk incoherently. During her worst moments, she felt like giving up. A possible side effect of her illness was speech defect and if she had that she feared that her entire career as an actress would be crushed.

Before filming ‘Game of Thrones’ Season 2 Clarke still had a smaller aneurysm in her brain, but doctors informed her that it might remain “dormant and harmless indefinitely.”

Although Clarke has been quiet about her medical condition all throughout the years, she’s been very open on social media about her support for the UK’s National Health Service. While previously it was because of her father’s battle with cancer, it is now evident that Clarke herself has been taken care of by the agency.

“That’s something I have in common with Dae-nerys,” Clarke told Vanity Fair. “I really feel for people and I want to help them. Not to sound too much like Oprah Winfrey.”

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