In an eye-opening revelation on Thursday, ‘Game of Thrones’ star ‘Emilia Clarke’ opened the curtain-raiser about her suffer from two brain aneurysms that nearly took her life.
She unveiled that the surgeries were way tough and so was her recovery. She also disclosed that these health issues started in 2011, soon after she wrapped up filming HBO show’s first season, and that she was with her trainer when she felt a severe headache.
She told that “My trainer had me get into the plank position, and I immediately felt as though an elastic band was 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.”
Having the reminiscence of that incident, Clarke said that she remembers a woman asking if she was okay and soon after that she was rushed to a hospital.
As per the reports, on her way to the hospital, “a fog of unconsciousness” restricted her awareness, and she was right away sent for an MRI.
He further explained, “The diagnosis was quick and ominous: a subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), a life-threatening type of stroke, caused by bleeding into the space surrounding the brain. I’d had an aneurysm, an arterial rupture. As I later learned, about a third of SAH patients die immediately or soon thereafter. For the patients who do survive, urgent treatment is required to seal off the aneurysm, as there is a very high risk of a second, often fatal bleed. If I was to live and avoid terrible deficits, I would have to have urgent surgery. And, even then, there were no guarantees.”
Surgery, in which his skull was needed to open, lasted for 3 hours. When she woke up, yet the pain was unbearable.
After the surgery, Emilia spent 4 days in the intensive care unit and another week and a half for the recovery. As per the actor, those two weeks were important points to check her progress post surgery.
Nevertheless, the results were not that positive. She was unable to remember her name and at one point, she even wanted to “pull the plug”.
She recalled saying, “I was suffering from a condition called aphasia, a consequence of the trauma my brain had suffered. 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. I was sent back to the I.C.U. and, after about a week, the aphasia passed. I was able to speak.”
After recovering, she started working again, doctors had warned her that another small aneurysm on the other side of his brain that could pop in another way, just like the first one. However, they suggested that it could also be inactive.
In 2013, during one of Clark’s regular brain scans, doctors saw that the second aneurysm had doubled in size and required a simple but immediate surgery.
However, surgery wasn’t successful and the actor woke up screaming in pain. After this, doctors made it clear that her possibilities of survival were less and doubtful if they don’t operate her again.
Recovery from that second surgery was even more difficult. This time she had to spend about a month in the hospital. And this time, she lost all the hopes.
She asserted, “I couldn’t look anyone in the eye. There was terrible anxiety, panic attacks … 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.”
Well, all well that ends well and the good news is that the actor has now fully recovered. “In the years since my second surgery, I have healed beyond my most unreasonable hopes. I am now at a hundred percent.”
On her work front, Clarke will next feature in the eighth and final season of ‘Game of Thrones’ which is scheduled to air on April 14.