Game of Thrones star could not remember her name after subarachnoid haemorrhage
The Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke has revealed she had a life-threatening stroke eight years ago that left her unable to remember her name.
The actor experienced a potentially fatal brain haemorrhage in 2011 before undergoing major surgery.
Clarke, who plays Daenerys Targaryen in the fantasy TV series, lived with an aneurysm in her skull for two years before again sustaining a bleed on her brain. Doctors immediately operated by opening up her skull.
Clarke has launched SameYou, a charity aimed at supporting young people with brain injuries and helping them access resources to aid recovery.
She said she wanted to break her silence over her near-fatal brain injuries to help others with the invisible illness.
I know from personal experience that the impact of brain injury is shattering, Clarke said. Recovery is long term and rehabilitation can be difficult to access.
Brain injury can be an invisible illness and the subject is often taboo. We must help young adults take control of their recovery and allow them to open up without fear of stigma or shame.
The actor was relatively new to her role as Daenerys when she felt enormous pressure on her brain during a workout.
I reached the toilet, sank to my knees and proceeded to be violently, voluminously ill, she wrote in the New Yorker.
Meanwhile, the pain shooting, stabbing, constricting pain was getting worse. At some level, I knew what was happening my brain was damaged.
She was revealed to have had a subarachnoid haemorrhage a type of stroke and underwent surgery. Many people do not survive the initial haemorrhage.
When Clarke awoke from surgery, she could not remember her name. She was told she still had an aneurysm in her skull but chose not to have it removed.
Lets face it, Im an actor. Vanity comes with the job. I spent way too much time thinking about how I looked, she wrote.
Clarke again underwent surgery in 2013 after sustaining a bleed on the brain and has made a full recovery over the years.
The actor now wants to support others who have experienced the same fears and pain. The degree to which people can adapt and face the future after neurological trauma is dependent on the quality and provision of rehabilitation care, Clarke said.
While I was recovering, I saw that access to integrated mental and physical health recovery programmes are limited and not affordable for all. I am determined to help.