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Emilia Clarke

Emilia Clarke Survived TWO Life-Threatening Aneurysms During Her Time On 'Game Of Thrones'

Looks like HBO made the right choice in casting Emilia Clarke as the powerful Queen Daenerys Targaryen on Game of Thrones — because not even multiple life-threatening health incidences could stop her from playing the part!
Related: GoT Put Kit Harington In Therapy!!
In a new essay for The New Yorker released Thursday, Emilia shared that following filming of the first season, she faced some very scary (and potentially deadly) health issues.

“Just when all my childhood dreams seemed to have come true, I nearly lost my mind and then my life. I’ve never told this story publicly, but now it’s time.”

Emila Clarke reveals brain issue following season 1 filming of game of thrones
Emilia battled serious health issues following Game of Thrones Season 1. / (c) HBO

The actress first recalled moments in childhood, and beyond, that were likely warning signs of the forthcoming trauma:

“Sometimes I got a little light-headed, because I often had low blood pressure and a low heart rate. Once in a while, I’d get dizzy and pass out. When I was fourteen, I had a migraine that kept me in bed for a couple of days, and in drama school I’d collapse once in a while. But it all seemed manageable, part of the stress of being an actor and of life in general. Now I think that I might have been experiencing warning signs of what was to come.”

Then, during the first incident in 2011, the star said she began to feel odd after forcing herself to workout on numerous occasions:

“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. 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.”

She goes on to detail how a woman helped her get medical attention:

“I heard a woman’s voice coming from the next stall, asking me if I was O.K. No, I wasn’t. She came to help me and maneuvered me onto my side, in the recovery position. Then everything became, at once, noisy and blurry. I remember the sound of a siren, an ambulance; I heard new voices, someone saying that my pulse was weak. I was throwing up bile. Someone found my phone and called my parents, who live in Oxfordshire, and they were told to meet me at the emergency room.”

An MRI revealed Clarke had a subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). An “aneurysm, an arterial rupture.”

“A life-threatening type of stroke, caused by bleeding into the space surrounding the brain.”

After learning about a third of SAH patients die immediately after their aneurysm, the GoT star was rushed into brain surgery to seal off the bleeding. The procedure went as well as it could have, but Emilia was stuck in unbearable pain, and developed aphasia, which is the inability to understand and express speech. She explained:

“Nonsense words tumbled out of my mouth and I went into a blind panic. 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. 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—centered on language, on communication. Without that, I was lost.”

After about a week the aphasia passed, and she was released from the hospital after a month long stay. Despite having another smaller aneurysm that could “pop” at any moment, doctors were hopeful it would stay dormant while they closely monitored.

Emilia Clarke was back to her healthy self in later seasons of game of thrones
Clarke was back to her healthy self in later seasons of the hit show. / (c) HBO

At this point, Emilia was back at work doing press for Game of Thrones season one, while still in the thick of recovery. She revealed:

“I vividly remember thinking, I can’t keep up or think or breathe, much less try to be charming. I sipped on morphine in between interviews. The pain was there, and the fatigue was like the worst exhaustion I’d ever experienced, multiplied by a million.”

How DID she do it??

Then, in 2013, it was discovered her aneurysm doubled in size during a routine brain scan. The doctors insisted they operate immediately, and explained they’d be performing a much less complicated operation than done previously. That, however, did not go off as planned:

“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.”

After this procedure, Clarke experienced the most intense pain in her life. She recalled:

“I looked as though I had been through a war more gruesome than any that Daenerys experienced. I emerged from the operation with a drain coming out of my head. Bits of my skull had been replaced by titanium. I felt like a shell of myself. So much so that I now have a hard time remembering those dark days in much detail. My mind has blocked them out. But I do remember being convinced that I wasn’t going to live.”

During these dark days, a tabloid picked up a story about her health issues, which she strongly denied. She wasn’t ready to share her harrowing health scare until today.
Video: The Official Trailer For The Final Season Of Game Of Thrones Is HERE!
Nowadays, the superstar is 100% healed!! An absolute miracle after basically cheating death twice!!

“In the years since my second surgery I have healed beyond my most unreasonable hopes. I am now at a hundred percent.”

Nothing like walking through fire and coming out stronger on the flip side! A true Khaleesi!
Emilia completed her powerful essay by sharing the launching of a new charity, SameYou, to help people recovering from strokes and brain injuries.
Everyone loves a charitable queen! All hail Emilia Clarke — breaker of medical statistics, aneurysm annihilator, champion for all those suffering from brain trauma.
[Image via Adriana M. Barraza/WENN]

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Mar 21, 2019 12:38pm PDT