«The Amount of My Brain That is No Longer Usable,» Emilia Clarke’s Journey From Near-death to Helping Others Boom

3 months ago

At just 24 years old, Emilia Clarke suffered her first aneurysm. It happened right after she finished filming the first season of Game of Thrones, the television show that would catapult her to international fame. Despite the physical and emotional toll of her surgeries and recovery, she was determined to get back to doing what she loved most: acting.

Her first aneurysm happened at the gym.

Soon after filming the first season of Game of Thrones, Clarke began to feel the pressure that Hollywood can put on your shoulders. To relieve the stress, she started working out, as many «TV actors» do. While in the locker room, she felt a headache, but decided to push through and began working with her trainer. Nearly crawling, she returned to the bathroom and began to feel pain and nausea.

Soon after, she was rushed to the emergency room, where doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong. The MRI and brain scan confirmed that Clarke had suffered an aneurysm.

She underwent emergency surgery, but it wouldn’t be her last.

Doctors worked for the better part of 3 hours to repair her brain. When Clarke woke up, she couldn’t remember her full name because she was suffering from a condition called aphasia, the same one Bruce Willis had before he was diagnosed with dementia. It took the actress 1 week to remember her name.

Two years later, Clarke went in for a routine scan, something she now has to do regularly. A growth on the other side of her brain had doubled in size, and she had to undergo another surgery — this time not through the minimally invasive femoral artery, but through her skull, as pieces of titanium were placed inside.

Hope for a successful recovery had faded for the actress.

Clarke spent a month in the hospital trying to recover, but was overwhelmed by anxiety and panic attacks. It took immense strength and ambition for Clarke not to succumb to her illness, and to come out the other side stronger than ever.

«I have healed beyond unreasonable hopes. I am now at 100%,» Clarke confirmed in the years following the second surgery. «I am in the really, really, really small minority of people that can survive that.»

Emilia Clarke now wants to help others who are going through the same experience.

In 2019, Clarke and her mother founded the charity SameYou to support people recovering from brain injuries and strokes. In addition, by speaking openly about her experiences, she is raising awareness about the importance of research in this area.

In 2023, Clarke and author/journalist/musician Clemency Burton-Hill joined forces to raise awareness and funds for the SameYou Foundation. Both women are survivors of traumatic brain injury and know firsthand that long-term care and support for those affected is virtually non-existent — and they want to change that.

Through it all, Clarke remained grateful. And she never lost her sense of humor.

Given the amount of her damaged brain, «The amount of my brain that is no longer usable —It’s remarkable I’m still able to speak, sometimes articulately, and live my life completely normally with absolutely no repercussions», the actress shared.

«I feel endless gratitude—to my mum and brother, to my doctors and nurses, to my friends. Every day, I miss my father, who passed in 2016, and I can never thank him enough for holding my hand to the very end,» she shared.

While Emilia Clarke bravely shares her health struggles, another celebrity appearance has fans buzzing. Kate Middleton’s recent public outing has sparked rumors after surgery left her looking quite different. What caused the surgery, and is the Duchess truly unrecognizable? Find out next!


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