Game of Thrones actress Emilia Clarke reveals that she suffered two brain aneurysms while filming the HBO series in 2011 and 2013.
Her essay, which she wrote for The New Yorker, gave a detailed account of her journey of battling for her life.
Emilia Clarke Survives 2 Brain Aneurysms
Clarke, 32, shared that she was first diagnosed with a fatal type of stroke called subarachnoid hemorrhage. About one-third of the patients with subarachnoid hemorrhage die almost instantly.
The doctors had to perform endovascular coiling to seal off the aneurysm. Although the procedure was minimally invasive, Clarke said she suffered problems with vision, severe pain, and memory loss.
On the second aneurysm, doctors had to open Clarke's skull to remove the growth in her brain that had doubled in size. Chances of survival were slim if the doctors did not operate.
She also suffered from constant anxiety and panic attacks about whether her concentration, memory, and peripheral vision would still go back to normal.
"I emerged from the operation with a drain coming out of my head. Bits of my skull had been replaced by titanium," Clarke wrote.
Brain Aneurysm Silent But Deadly
"When an aneurysm has bled, that means the wall of the aneurysm stretched so much that it broke. The blood inside the blood vessels then escapes from the aneurysm and spreads out over the brain's surface," said Dr. Judy Huang, Vice Chair of Neurosurgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
In the United States, about 6 million people have an unruptured brain aneurysm. Approximately 30,000 people will suffer from a ruptured aneurysm each year, according to the Brain Aneurysm Foundation. Women are more likely to have brain aneurysms than men.