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“Game of Thrones” Star Emilia Clarke Opens Up About Near-Fatal Battle With Brain Aneurysms

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Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke suffered two near-fatal brain aneurysms in the early years of filming the hit series. The actress said this in an essay published on Thursday, 21st March 2019.

The British actress, who plays Daenerys Targaryen on GOT, wrote that the first aneurysm rupture struck while she was at the gym in February 2011. This came just after filming the first season.

In her piece titled A Battle For My Life in The New Yorker magazine, the 32-year-old wrote:

“At some level, I knew what was happening: my brain was damaged.

“For a few moments, I tried to will away the pain and nausea. To keep my memory alive, I tried to recall, among other things, some lines from Game of Thrones.”

Clarke was rushed to the hospital and diagnosed with a subarachnoid haemorrhage. It is a form of stroke triggered by bleeding into areas that surround the brain. It kills about one-third of the patients it strikes.

She was 24 at the time of her first brain surgery. According to her, during the recovery period, she could not even recall her own name. The condition, called aphasia, gave her “a sense of doom.”

“In my worst moments, I wanted to pull the plug. I asked the medical staff to let me die. My job — my entire dream of what my life would be — centred on language, on communication. Without that, I was lost.”

"Game of Thrones" Star Emilia Clarke Brain Aneurysms

The recovery

The condition passed and Clarke left the hospital one month after her admission. But doctors had found she had a second aneurysm that could rupture at any moment.

She said she took morphine between interviews while promoting the acclaimed show. Clarke wrote:

“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.”

During a routine brain scan, doctors found her growth had doubled in size and decided to operate. It was a seemingly simple procedure that resulted in major complications and another month in the hospital.

Today, Clarke says she has “healed beyond my most unreasonable hopes.” She has also helped develop a charity to offer treatment to patients recovering from stroke and brain injuries.

“There is something gratifying, and beyond lucky, about coming to the end of Thrones. I’m so happy to be here to see the end of this story and the beginning of whatever comes next.”

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