'Game of Thrones' actor Emilia Clarke says she's missing 'quite a bit' of brain after surviving two aneurysms

Clarke said she is in the "really small minority" of people who live to tell the tale after undergoing a procedure for aneurysms

PTIUpdated: Monday, July 18, 2022, 04:51 PM IST
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Emilia Clarke |

"Game of Thrones" star Emilia Clarke says it's nothing short of a miracle she is able to speak articulately after a "quite a bit" of her brain was removed following two emergency surgeries to treat aneurysms.

The British actor, who first opened up about the health scare in 2019, recalled her experience of surviving two brain aneurysms during an interview with the BBC's "Sunday Morning".

Clarke said she is in the "really small minority" of people who live to tell the tale after undergoing a procedure for aneurysms.

"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 added.

The actor, who attained international prominence after playing Daenerys Targaryen in "Game of Thrones", 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.

Clarke also recalled the time she saw scans of her brain during the lengthy recovery periods. "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 35-year-old actor, who has since founded a charity for brain injury and stroke victims called SameYou, said she made peace with her medical struggles over the years.

"I thought, 'Well, this is who you are. This is the brain that you have.' So there's no point in continually wracking your brains about what might not be there," she said.

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.

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