Emilia Clarke Talks About Surviving Two Brain Aneurysms

Emilia Clarke, star of HBO's "Game of Thrones," is astonished by her recovery after suffering two life-threatening brain aneurysms while working on the show.

Clarke discussed the health scare in further detail in an interview with BBC’s ‘Sunday Morning’ on July 17. “The amount of my brain that is no longer usable it’s remarkable that I am able to speak, sometimes articulately, and live my life completely normally with absolutely no repercussions,” she added. “I am in the really, really, really small minority of people that can survive that,” the actress added.

The actress also joked that she had a scan of her brain following the aneurysms. “There’s quite a bit missing, which always makes me laugh,” she explained. “Because strokes, basically, as soon as any part of your brain doesn’t get blood for a second, it’s gone. And so the blood finds a different route to get around, but then whatever bit it’s missing is therefore gone.” Clarke initially spoke up about her health in a March 2019 New Yorker op-ed.

At the age of 24, the “Me Before You” actress disclosed she had her first brain aneurysm in 2011. She had to stop working out at the gym due to excruciating discomfort and went to the restroom, where she fell ill. “The pain, shooting, stabbing, constricting pain, was getting worse. At some level, I knew what was happening: my brain was damaged,” she wrote. When a fellow gymgoer discovered Clarke in the restroom, he phoned an ambulance for her.

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She was diagnosed with a “subarachnoid haemorrhage (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, Clarke revealed.”

Clarke added, “For the patients who do survive, urgent treatment is required to seal off the aneurysm.” She had “minimally invasive” brain surgery at the hospital. “This would not be my last surgery, and it would not be the worst,” the actress explained. Clarke had surgery again in 2013 after “growth on the other side of my brain had doubled in size.”