Home / News / World /  Emilia Clarke opens up on losing 'quite a bit' of her brain to aneurysms

Emilia Clarke, popularised to the world as the one who played Khalessi Daenerys Targaryen in the majorly popular series Game of Thrones, has recently in an interview with BBC's "Sunday Morning" revealed that it is ‘remarkable’ that she is till able to speak, as she had to undergo two emergency procedures which resulted in her losing "quite a bit" of her brain. 

The Game of Thrones star said that she is in the "really small minority" of people who survive two surgeries to remove brain aneurysms. The British actor had first talked about her health scare in 2019. 

“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. I am in the really, really, really small minority of people that can survive that," she said.

The 35-year-old British actor had gained stardom after she portrayed the role of Daenerys Targaryen in the HBO series "Game of Thrones", an adaptation of A Song of Ice and Fire, a series of fantasy novels by George R. R. Martin. She portrayed the mother of dragons and achieved immense popularity. 

Clarke had first suffered an aneurysm in 2011 soon after the success of the first season of the series. She underwent urgent surgery and subsequently suffered from aphasia, at one point being unable to recall her own name. She had a second aneurysm surgically treated in 2013.

“There’s quite a bit missing. Which always makes me laugh… Strokes, basically, as soon as any part of your brain doesn’t get blood for a second, it’s gone. So the blood finds a different route to get around, but then whatever bit is missing is therefore gone," she added.

The actor has since founded a charity for brain injury and stroke victims called SameYou, said she made peace with her medical struggles over the years.

Clarke said she experienced "the most excruciating pain" while battling the aneurysms, adding she was grateful to have a job with "Game of Thrones" at the time.

“It was incredibly helpful to have ‘Game of Thrones’ sweep me up and give me that purpose," she added.

Recently, the actor made her West End debut with the production of Anton Chekhov’s play “The Seagull" at the Harold Pinter Theatre here.

What are brain aneurysms

According to Mayo clinic, a brain aneurysm is a bulge or ballooning in a blood vessel in the brain. An aneurysm often looks like a berry hanging on a stem. A brain aneurysm can leak or rupture, causing bleeding into the brain (hemorrhagic stroke).

High blood pressure puts you at the most risk of having a brain aneurysm. But several other things in your medical history and lifestyle also increase your odds. Diseases affecting your blood or blood vessels: Connective tissue disorders such as Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.

Warning sign of brain aneurysms

A ruptured brain aneurysm will have the following sing. It is advised that one calls an ambulance as this requires first responders to use lifesaving procedures. Read below for the warning sign of a ruptured brain aneurysm

1. Sudden and severe headache, often described as “the worst headache of my life"


3. Stiff neck

4. Blurred or double vision

5. Sensitivity to light

6. Seizure

7. Drooping eyelid

8. A dilated pupil

Meanwhile, an unruptured brain aneurysm could exhibit the following warning signs

1. Blurred or double vision

2. A drooping eyelid

3. A dilated pupil

4. Pain above and behind one eye

5. Weakness and/or numbness

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