Emilia Clarke opens up about a horrifying health scare.
With Game Of Thrones preparing to release its final season on April 14th, Emilia Clarke recently sat down with New Yorker for an extensive story. In the piece, the Emmy-nominated actress publically opened up about a health scare, which followed the whirlwind success of Game Of Thrones during its first season. As her character became an immediate fan-favorite, all eyes appeared to follow Daenerys Targaryen. In an effort to cope with the newfound stress, Clarke turned to the gym.
"I started to feel a bad headache coming on. I was so fatigued that I could barely put on my sneakers. When I started my workout, I had to force myself through the first few exercises," she reflects. Despite her attempts to continue, she eventually found herself overcome with illness. "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."
She recounts a few of the moments to follow, which sound horrifying by her account. " I tried to will away the pain and the nausea. I said to myself, “I will not be paralyzed.” I moved my fingers and toes to make sure that was true," she shares. "To keep my memory alive, I tried to recall, among other things, some lines from “Game of Thrones.”
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Upon being taken to the hospital, Clarke was given a startling diagnosis. "A subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), a life-threatening type of stroke, caused by bleeding into the space surrounding the brain," she says. "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."
Her road to recovery was equally difficult, with bouts of amnesia following her increasingly invasive surgeries. Eventually, she rallied in time for Season 2, though it wasn't always smooth sailing. "Even before we began filming Season 2, I was deeply unsure of myself. I was often so woozy, so weak, that I thought I was going to die," she admits. "Staying at a hotel in London during a publicity tour, I vividly remember thinking, I can’t keep up or think or breathe, much less try to be charming. I sipped on morphine in between interviews."
For more testimony from Clarke's near death experience, be sure to check the candid feature over at New Yorker. We're glad she pulled through, and hope she continues to have a successful life and career. As she explains via Instagram, Clarke decided to reveal the story to bring awareness for her new charity, the Same You Organization. Check out her message below.