Emilia Clarke Has Revealed She Experienced Two Brain Aneurysms After GOT Season One

"I’ve cheated death twice."

With the final season of Game of Thrones rapidly approaching, Emilia Clarke has taken the chance to raise awareness for brain injuries, revealing she suffered two brain aneurysms after she first started the show.

In an essay published in the New Yorker, the actress opened up about the first time she experienced a brain aneurysm at 24 years of age. She was working out with a personal trainer when she felt a headache come on, which eventually got worse.

“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. I told my trainer I had to take a break.

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.”

A woman then came into the bathroom stall to help Emilia before she was taken by ambulance to hospital. She was diagnosed with a subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), a life-threatening type of stroke, caused by bleeding into the space surrounding the brain.

Emilia had a “minimally invasive” surgery that didn’t involve opening up her skull.  After waking up, she recalled not being able to remember her own name.

A week passed, her memory came back, however she was informed she had another aneurysm on the other side of her brain, which could “pop” any second. This aneurysm wouldn’t be operated on until she finished filming GOT season 3. Unfortunately, that operation didn’t work, and she ultimately had to be operated on invasively through her brain.

“The recovery was even more painful than it had been after the first surgery. I looked as though I had been through a war more gruesome than any that Daenerys experienced.”

Since recovering, Emilia has created a charity called SameYou, which aims to provide treatment for people recovering from brain injuries and stroke.

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