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Emilia “Khaleesi” Clarke Nearly Died Due to Two Brain Aneurysms

In an emotional essay in the New Yorker titled ‘A Battle for my Life,’ Emilia Clarke (who plays Daenerys Targaryen on HBO’s Game of Thrones), explained her brushes with death and revealed how due to complications from brain aneurysms, she nearly died twice during the show’s last eight seasons. With emergency surgeries and great care providers, Clarke survived to make a full recovery. Many experiencing sub-arachnoid hemorrhages, however, are not so fortunate. As per Brain Aneurysm Foundation, any ruptured brain aneurysm is dangerous, in which in 40% of cases are fatal and from those who survive, about 66% of them may experience some permanent neurological impairment.

In 2011, after she wrapped up the first season of GoT, Clarke suffered a sub-arachnoid hemorrhage brought on by a ruptured brain aneurysm. After the minimally invasive operation to stop the bleed, Emilia was informed that if she successfully completed her 2-week recovery phase with good results, then the next few phases of recovery would be a breeze. Despite a traumatic bout of aphasia (a language impairment of varying severity, rendering communication difficult and frustrating), which lasted one week, Clarke made a complete recovery.

But two years later, the actress was informed that a second brain aneurysm had suddenly expanded in size and she woke up in extreme pain, forcing another minimally invasive open-skull surgery. Her brain-bleeds became worse and she needed immediate surgery. Clarke eventually recovered from the surgery and now shares her story to raise awareness about brain injuries and strokes among young people.

According to the Brain Aneurysm Foundation, an estimated one in 50 people in the US may suffer a ruptured brain aneurysm at any time and not know it. It’s more common in women than men, especially over 55 and more common in African-Americans and Hispanic populations than with Caucasians. To raise awareness, Emilia has now started a charity called ‘SameYou’ to focus attention on information that ensures that sufferers of brain injuries could enhance their chances of recovery.

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