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10 April 2019, 10:40 | Updated: 10 April 2019, 10:45
Emilia Clarke suffered two life-threatening brain aneurysms while filming Game of Thrones, and during the long recovery process part of her brain was left damaged forever.
Emilia Clarke, 32, recently shared some previously unseen photos from her time in hospital as she recovered from two brain aneurysms, with the second needing surgery to remove it.
Opening up about her life-threatening ordeal, Emilia – who plays Daenerys Targaryen on Game of Thrones – said she feared she had lost the ability to act after she was rushed to hospital following a “bad headache” and “realising she could no longer walk”.
While she hadn’t actually lost her talent, part of her brain did die following surgery to remove the second aneurysm doctors found in 2013 – two years after the first ruptured.
Emilia told CBS Sunday Morning: “With the second one, there was a bit of my brain that actually died. If part of your brain doesn't get blood to it for a minute, it will just no longer work. It's like you short circuit. So I had that.”
She continued: “There was a deep paranoia. I was like, 'What if something has short-circuited in my brain and I can't act anymore?' I mean, literally, it's been my reason for living for a very long time.”
The actress suffered the first rupture when she was 24 years old in 2011 while working out with her personal trainer. After recovering from the urgent surgery Emilia was able to return to Game of Thrones, but doctors later found a second aneurysm that could “pop” at any moment, so they quickly operated to avoid it causing any further damage.
Emilia explained in her piece in The New Yorker titled ‘A Battle For My Life’: “The recovery was even more painful than it had been after the first surgery. I looked as though I had been through a war more gruesome than any that Daenerys experienced. I emerged from the operation with a drain coming out of my head. Bits of my skull had been replaced by titanium.”
The 32 year old is now “completely clear” regarding her brain health and now feels "100 percent" after initially finding it "hard to stay optimistic" following her recovery.