‘I knew what was happening - my brain was damaged’
Emilia Clarke is one of the most talked about women in the world due to her starring role as Daenerys on Game of Thrones, with season 8 premiering just this week.
The 32-year-old actress is a current conversation topic for a different reason however, as she launched the SameYou charity this month, a campaign very personal to her.
After breaking her silence on her past struggle, Emilia went one step further this week during an interview with CBS Sunday Morning, releasing the painful photos from her brain surgery and recovery.
‘I was like, “What if something has short circuited in my brain and I can’t act anymore?”’, the actress recalled. ‘Literally, it’s been my reason for living for a very long time.’
Then going on to explain that a part of her brain died after the second aneurysm, she explained: ‘If a part of your brain doesn’t get blood to it, it will just no longer work. It’s like your short circuit. So, I had that and they didn’t know what it was.’
But Emilia did of course go back to work, inspired to continue by her fearless character Daenerys.
‘You go on set, and you play a badass, and you walk through fire, and that became the thing that just saved me from considering my own mortality,’ she explained.
This comes after Emilia’s personal essay for the New Yorker about her subarachnoid haemorrhage, something a lot of victims don’t survive.
‘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,’ Emilia wrote for the New Yorker. ‘At some level, I knew what was happening – my brain was damaged.’
The surgery that followed left her unable to string sentences together or remember her own name,’ something that she recalled, saying: ‘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.’
‘While I was recovering, I saw that access to integrated mental and physical health recovery programs are limited and not affordable for all,’ she explained. ‘I am determined to help.’
‘I know from personal experience that the impact of brain injury is shattering,’ Emilia went on to explain. ‘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.’
Follow #sameyoucharity to find out more about Emilia’s campaign for immediate post-acute rehabilitation.’