Game of Thrones actress Emilia Clarke has shared never-before-seen pictures taken while she was in hospital recovering from a life-threatening brain aneurysm in 2011.
The British actress, 32, last month opened up about suffering two brain aneurysms while filming the hit TV show.
Clarke, who plays Daenerys Targaryen, has now talked to CBS Sunday Morning about surviving the haemorrhages, admitting she was left in a dark place after her second stint in hospital.
Sharing never-before-seen pictures taken in hospital, Clarke said she was in the gym when she suddenly got a severe headache and was left in the “most excruciating pain”.
She told CBS’s Tracy Smith of the first aneurysm: “Very quickly I realised I couldn’t stand and I couldn’t walk, and in that moment I knew I was being brain damaged.”
The actress quickly recovered and returned to work six weeks later, but two years on she was rushed to hospital once again with another more serious brain bleed.
“The second one there was a bit of my brain that actually died, if your brain doesn’t get blood to it for a minute it will just no longer work. It’s like you short-circuit,” she said.
“So I had that, and they didn’t know what it was, so they literally were looking at the brain like ‘we think it could be her concentration, it could be her peripheral vision’.”
“I always say it’s my taste in men that’s no longer there,” Clarke joked before adding: “For a very long time I thought it was my ability to act, from the first one as well.”
Clarke also told CBS that she found it “much harder to stay optimistic” the second time, saying: “I definitely went through a period of being down, putting it mildly.”
But she added that playing strong female character Daenerys helped her through the experience.
Clarke said: “You got on set and you play a bada** and you walk through fire, and that became the thing that saved me from considering my mortality.”
Last month, Clarke wrote in The New Yorker about first feeling pressure on her brain when she was just 24 and in the gym.
“I tried to ignore the pain and push through it, but I just couldn’t. I told my trainer I had to take a break. Somehow, almost crawling, I made it to the locker room. I reached the toilet, sank to my knees, and proceeded to be violently, voluminously ill,” Clarke wrote.
“The diagnosis was quick and ominous: a subarachnoid haemorrhage (SAH), a life-threatening type of stroke, caused by bleeding into the space surrounding the brain.
“As I later learned, about a third of SAH patients die immediately or soon thereafter.
“In my worst moments, I wanted to pull the plug. I asked the medical staff to let me die. My job – my entire dream of what my life would be – centred on language, on communication. Without that, I was lost.”
As well as sharing her story, Clarke launched her own charity called SameYou raising funds to treat those recovering from brain injury and stroke.