Game of Thrones’s Emilia Clarke survived two brain aneurysms




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Emilia Clarke has revealed that she suffered and survived two brain aneurysms while filming Game Of Thrones. 

The actress, 32, who plays ‘Mother of Dragons’ Daenerys Targaryen, shared in a candid interview with the The New Yorker that she had her first aneurysm in 2011. 

She said: ‘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.’

Scary: Emilia Clarke has revealed that she suffered and survived two brain aneurysms while filming Game Of Thrones

Scary: Emilia Clarke has revealed that she suffered and survived two brain aneurysms while filming Game Of Thrones

Emilia then explained that she had just finished filming the first season of the HBO fantasy series when she had her initial brain aneurysm while working out with a trainer. 

Fearing for her life, the star admitted she repeatedly told herself that this would not be the end, as she tried to keep a sense of herself by reciting her lines from Game of Thrones. 

Emilia, who was just 24 at the time, was quickly sent for an MRI where they diagnosed her with a subarachnoid haemorrhage.

This type of hemorrhage is a life-threatening form of stroke, which is caused by bleeding around the brain and a third of patients die immediately or soon after suffering one.

Health: The actress, 32, who plays 'Mother of Dragons' Daenerys Targaryen, shared in a candid interview with the The New Yorker that she had her first aneurysm in 2011 (pictured in character in GoT series one)

Health: The actress, 32, who plays ‘Mother of Dragons’ Daenerys Targaryen, shared in a candid interview with the The New Yorker that she had her first aneurysm in 2011 (pictured in character in GoT series one) 

She said: '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'

She said: ‘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’

Emilia said: ‘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.’

Emilia said that she was told that she had another, smaller, aneurysm on the other side of her brain while in hospital recovering which could burst at any time, however it may also just lie dormant.

Before she was thrown back into filming, Emilia had to endure a press tour for the first season of the show and said she remembers feeling like she could die at any moment and made it through interviews by sipping on morphine. 

Terrifying: Emilia then explained that she had just finished filming the first season of the HBO fantasy series when she had her initial brain aneurysm while working out with a trainer (pictured with Kit Harington (Jon Snow) during filming for Game Of Thrones)

Terrifying: Emilia then explained that she had just finished filming the first season of the HBO fantasy series when she had her initial brain aneurysm while working out with a trainer (pictured with Kit Harington (Jon Snow) during filming for Game Of Thrones)

Pushing on: She revealed that she had been undertaking exercise to relieve the stress of her newfound fame but soon started to feel a 'bad headache' and fatigue', yet she forced herself to continue the gruelling workout (pictured at the Oscars in February 2019)

Pushing on: She revealed that she had been undertaking exercise to relieve the stress of her newfound fame but soon started to feel a ‘bad headache’ and fatigue’, yet she forced herself to continue the gruelling workout (pictured at the Oscars in February 2019)

After struggling through filming for season two and pushing herself to complete season three, Emilia took a role as Holly Golightly on Broadway.  

While in New York, Emilia went for a one of her regular brain scans and medics discovered that it had doubled in size and wanted to operate to avoid any complications.

Despite being promised a simple operation, Emilia said she awoke screeching in agony following the failed operation and doctors had to operate again in order to improve her chance of survival. 

Something's wrong: However, when Emilia got into the plank position she felt as though 'an elastic band were squeezing her brain' she then ran to the changing room where she became 'violently, voluminously ill'

Something’s wrong: However, when Emilia got into the plank position she felt as though ‘an elastic band were squeezing her brain’ she then ran to the changing room where she became ‘violently, voluminously ill’

She said while spending another month in hospital she sometimes lost hope and suffered from anxiety and panic attacks, adding that she felt like a shadow of her former self.

The Me Before You actress said that she now struggles recalling those dark times because her mind has tried to block them out, but she does remember being convinced she would die, and that her story would get out.

A reporter asked her about her operation six weeks after the surgery, when the National Enquirer ran a small story, but Emilia was quick to deny the allegation. 

Fearful: Fearing for her life, the star admitted she said to herself 'I will not be paralysed' as she tried to keep her 'memory alive' by reciting her lines from Game of Thrones (pictured in 2013 around the time of her second operation)

Fearful: Fearing for her life, the star admitted she said to herself ‘I will not be paralysed’ as she tried to keep her ‘memory alive’ by reciting her lines from Game of Thrones (pictured in 2013 around the time of her second operation)

However Emilia said she now feels like the time is right to speak out, and acknowledges that she is one of the fortunate few with an excellent level of care.

Several weeks after the surgery Emilia attended Comic-Con where she suffered an intense headache, and once again she resigned herself to the fact that her time had come after claiming to have cheated death.

However she was met by her publicist who told her a reporter from MTV was waiting to chat to her, and rather than running from the situation, Emilia joked that she thought if she was going to die, she’d do it live on television. 

Worrying: Emilia, who was just 24 at the time, added that a woman next to her in the stall put her in the recovery position as an 'unconsciousness settled over her' as she was wheeled into hospital

Worrying: Emilia, who was just 24 at the time, added that a woman next to her in the stall put her in the recovery position as an ‘unconsciousness settled over her’ as she was wheeled into hospital

Emilia now claims she is feeling well again and alongside finally speaking out about her experiences she has decided to launch a charity called SameYou, which aims to provide treatment for people recovering from brain injuries and stroke.

She added that she feels incredibly lucky to have wrapped the final season of Game Of Thrones and been able to see how the story ended. 

Emilia, who rarely gave her health a thought and was consumed by her desire to be an actress, grew up in Oxford with her businesswoman mother and sound designer father who worked hard to put her through private school. 

She said that although she doesn’t have a strong sense of when she actually decided to become an actress she can recall being entranced by a performance of Show Boat when she was just three years old with her father, who passed in July 2016.   

Emilia was named Esquire’s Sexiest Woman Alive in 2015 – and turned down the role of Anastasia Steele in 2015’s scandalous film Fifty Shades of Grey.

The actress shot to fame in 2011 after she replaced Tamzin Merchant as the platinum-haired Targaryen princess Daenerys Targaryen on Game Of Thrones.

Her character has since undergone some dramatic plotlines – including an arranged marriage to Dothraki chieftain Khal Drogo, played by Jason Momoa, and the tense Liberation of Slaver’s Bay.

No regret: Emilia was handed more sex scenes than any other character in season one of the popular television series

No regret: Emilia was handed more sex scenes than any other character in season one of the popular television series

She was last seen in a scandalous scene with Jon Snow, played by Kit Harrington, in the final episode of season seven.

Many of Emilia’s scenes have seen her strip off on camera, but she recently revealed that she doesn’t regret her choices – as the fantasy series gears up to air its final episodes next month.  

Stepping into her role as Daenerys, Emilia was handed more sex scenes than any other character in season one of the popular television series.

But despite her image now being featured on porn sites, Emilia told The Sun there is ‘not one part of the show I would go back and redo’.

In the nude: Despite her image now being featured on porn websites, Emilia, said there is 'not one part of the show I would go back and redo'

In the nude: Despite her image now being featured on porn websites, Emilia, said there is ‘not one part of the show I would go back and redo’

She told the publication: ‘People ask me the nudity question all the time. But the short answer is no, I would never change anything. You had to see those sex scenes, as they couldn’t just be explained.’ 

But the Mother of Dragons, who is now said to be worth a massive £9.7 million ($13 million), did receive some backlash for the raunchy scenes.

Feminist critics hit out at Emilia for one particular moment in season six of the show where Daenerys’ clothes were burned off as she emerged from a fire.

But the actress said she was trying to portray her character as ‘strong’ and ’empowered’ in the controversial scene.

‘I just wanted to come out and do an empowered scene that wasn’t sexual — it was naked, but it was strong,’ she said.

‘I get a lot of c**p for having done nude scenes and sex scenes. That, in itself, is so anti-feminist. Women hating on other women is just the problem. That’s upsetting.’

Emilia confessed that she worried she would become ‘pigeonholed’ in one particular role after appearing nude in the epic drama.

Emilia said: 'People ask me the nudity question all the time. But the short answer is no, I would never change anything...'

Emilia said: ‘People ask me the nudity question all the time. But the short answer is no, I would never change anything…’

Emilia was named Esquire’s Sexiest Woman Alive in 2015 – and turned down the role of Anastasia Steele in 2015’s scandalous film Fifty Shades of Grey. 

The actress shot to fame in 2011 after she replaced Tamzin Merchant as the platinum-haired Targaryen princess.

Her character has since undergone some dramatic plotlines – including an arranged marriage to Dothraki chieftain Khal Drogo, played by Jason Momoa, and the tense Liberation of Slaver’s Bay.

She was last seen in a scandalous scene with Jon Snow, played by Kit Harrington, in the final episode of season seven.

Emilia’s comments come just a month ahead of the premiere of the eighth and final series of Game of Thrones on April 14. 

The end: Emilia's comments come just a month before the premiere of the eighth and final series on April 14 (Kit Harrington and Emilia Clarke pictured in Game of Thrones)

The end: Emilia’s comments come just a month before the premiere of the eighth and final series on April 14 (Kit Harrington and Emilia Clarke pictured in Game of Thrones)

WHAT IS A SUBARACHNOID HEMORRHAGE: THE STROKE EMILIA CLARKE NARROWLY SURVIVED ON GAME OF THRONES

A subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) is a type of stroke caused by bleeding in the brain. 

Five to 10 percent of strokes are caused by SAH. They most typically occur in older people.  

It can be caused by a head injury or a ruptured aneurysm.

A third of patients survive and recover, a third survive with disability, and a third do not survive.

CAUSES:

  • Aneurysm: a balloon-like bulge or weakening of an artery wall that ruptures, releasing blood into the subarachnoid space around the brain.
  • Arteriovenous malformation (AVM): an abnormal tangle of arteries and veins with no capillaries in between. The weakened blood vessels can rupture and bleed.
  • Traumatic brain injury: during the impact of an accident, the brain crashes back and forth inside the skull tearing blood vessels.

SYMPTOMS: 

  • sudden onset of a severe headache (often described as ‘the worst headache of my life’)
  • nausea and vomiting
  • stiff neck
  • sensitivity to light (photophobia)
  • blurred or double vision
  • loss of consciousness
  • seizures



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