Emilia Clarke lost ‘quite a bit’ after brain surgery
Last Modified: Jul 19, 2022
Emilia Clarke shared that she is missing “quite a bit” of her brain following two aneurysms while filming Game of Thrones.
The 35-year-old actress told BBC One’s Sunday Morning, “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 continued to explain her condition, “I am in the really, really, really small minority of people that can survive that. There’s quite a bit missing! Which always makes me laugh. 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.”
Back in 2019, Clarke first revealed the first brain aneurysm she suffered while working out at a gym. The health issue had occurred after just wrapping up filming the first season of the HBO show in 2011. After being rushed to the hospital after suffering a stroke and a subarachnoid hemorrhage, she underwent brain surgery that resulted in her being unable to remember her name.
She wrote in 2019 The New Yorker essay, “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.”
Luckily Emilia Clarke was able to recover as aphasia was temporary.
“I was sent back to the ICU, and after about a week, the aphasia passed. I was able to speak.”
But just a couple of years later in 2013, the Me Before You actress suffered a second aneurism that needed another surgery.
“When they woke me, I was screaming in pain. The procedure had failed. I had a massive bleed and the doctors made it plain that my chances of surviving were precarious if they didn’t operate again,” she recalled of her second surgery.
Since then, Clarke has used her platform to raise awareness and money for injury survivors and their loved ones via the charity SameYou.