'In my worst moments, I wanted to pull the plug. I asked the medical staff to let me die.'
This week, the 32-year-old actress made news for a different reason however, as she launched the SameYou charity, a campaign very personal to her.
The SameYou charity supports young people with brain injuries, something Emilia Clarke started after surviving a life threatening stroke herself.
This is something the GoT actress broke her silence on this week while launching the charity.
Opening up about suffering a subarachnoid haemorrhage, something a lot of victims don’t survive, and undergoing surgery, Emilia recalled her personal struggle to bring attention to the ‘invisible illness’.
‘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 explained to the New Yorker, recalling her stroke. ‘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.
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Jenny Proudfoot is an award-winning journalist, specialising in lifestyle, culture, entertainment, international development and politics. She has worked at Marie Claire UK for seven years, rising from intern to Features Editor and is now the most published Marie Claire writer of all time. She was made a 30 under 30 award-winner last year and named a rising star in journalism by the Professional Publishers Association.
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