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Emilia Clarke Revealed That Part Of Her Brain "Died" From Two Aneurysms

"With the second one, there was a bit of my brain that actually died."

Last month, Emilia Clarke revealed that she'd experienced several life-threatening brain aneurysms that started after the first season of Game of Thrones wrapped.


In an essay for the New Yorker, Emilia explained that she'd been rushed into urgent surgery in 2011 after being diagnosed with a subarachnoid haemorrhage — a stroke that one-third of patients can die from.


She wrote: "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.”

Emilia went on to write that when she returned to work six weeks later, she thought she was about to die "every minute of every day".


She wrote: "I told my bosses at Thrones about my condition, but I didn’t want it to be a subject of public discussion and dissection. The show must go on! Season two would be my worst. I didn’t know what Daenerys was doing. If I am truly being honest, every minute of every day I thought I was going to die."

Well, during an appearance on CBS This Morning on Sunday, Emilia opened up further about her experiences and shared never-before-seen photos from her hospitalisation.


The images were taken during Emilia's recovery from her first brain aneurysm in 2011.


And during the interview, Emilia spoke in more detail about the aneurysm, which happened while she was at the gym.


She said: "Basically, I was in the gym, the most excruciating pain, like an elastic band just went, like, snap in my head. I felt an enormous amount of pressure suddenly, and then very, very, very quickly I realised I couldn't stand and I couldn't walk, and in that moment I knew I was being brain-damaged."

Emilia went on to reveal that she endured a second aneurysm two years later, and this one was life-threatening.


She said: "With the second one, there was a bit of my brain that actually died. If part of your brain doesn't get blood to it for a minute, it will just no longer work. It's like you short-circuit. So I had that. There was a deep paranoia. I was like, 'What if something has short-circuited in my brain and I can't act anymore?' I mean, literally, it's been my reason for living for a very long time."

Emilia also spoke about the toll the aneurysms took on her mental well-being, but added that returning to work ultimately "saved" her from thinking about her own mortality.


Emilia said: "You go on the set, and you play a badass character, and you walk through fire and you speak to hundreds of people, and you're being asked to work as hard as you possibly can. And that became the thing that just saved me from considering my own mortality."

You can watch the full interview with Emilia Clarke here.

Ellie Woodward is Celebrity and Entertainment Editor for BuzzFeed UK and is based in London.

Contact Ellie Woodward at ellie.woodward@buzzfeed.com.

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