Emilia Clarke revealed she’s missing “quite a bit” of her brain after suffering two aneurysms during her time on “Game of Thrones.”
“The amount of my brain that is no longer usable – it’s remarkable that I can speak, articulate at times, and live my life completely normal without any consequences,” the 35-year-old actress said on BBC One’s “Sunday Morning.”
“I belong to the very, very, very small minority of people who can survive that,” she added. “There’s quite a bit missing! Which always makes me laugh. Because strokes basically, once a part of your brain doesn’t get blood for a second, it’s gone. And so the blood finds another route to move, but then the missing piece is gone.”
Shortly after she finished filming the first season of the critically acclaimed HBO show in 2011, Clarke suffered her first aneurysm, which also led to a stroke and subarachnoid hemorrhage.
Due to health concerns, the “Solo: A Star Wars Story” star had to undergo brain surgery that left her unable to remember her name.
“I suffered from a condition called aphasia, a result of the trauma my brain had suffered,” she wrote in a 2019 essay for The New Yorker.
“In my worst moments, I wanted to pull the plug,” she continued. “I asked the medical staff to let me die. My job – my whole dream of what my life would be – was focused on language, on communication. Without it I was lost.”
After going through these dark moments, Clarke was able to come out on the other side because the aphasia was temporary.
“I was sent back to the ICU and after about a week the aphasia passed,” she wrote. “I could talk.”
But in 2013, the “Me Before You” star was confronted with another aneurysm that had to be treated through surgery.
Although she was promised “a relatively simple surgery,” Clarke said the second was even more distressing than the first.
“When they woke me up, I screamed in pain. The procedure had failed. I had a massive bleed and the doctors made it clear that my chances of survival were precarious if they didn’t operate again,” she recalls in the essay.
After fully recovering, Clarke decided to use her platform to help others who had similar experiences. She launched the charity SameYou to raise money for brain injury survivors and their loved ones.