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Did Emilia Clarke have a brain aneurysm?



Credits: SameYou

Emilia Clarke is well-known for her role as Daenerys Targaryen in Game of Thrones. Beyond her on-screen success, Clarke has become an advocate for raising awareness about brain injuries. She had her own harrowing experience with two brain aneurysms.

In this article, we delve into Clarke’s health struggles, her journey to recovery, and the impact of her story on advocacy efforts.

Quick answer: Emilia Clarke had two brain aneurysms, one in 2011 and one in 2013, while filming Game of Thrones.

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Emilia Clarke’s Health Struggles


Credits: CBS Sunday Morning / Youtube

In 2011, at the young age of 24, Clarke experienced her first brain aneurysm. This life-threatening condition occurred during her early years on the set of “Game of Thrones,” just after filming the first season.

The severity of the situation led to emergency surgery to repair the ruptured aneurysm. Despite the success of the procedure, Clarke faced a challenging recovery process. This included issues with memory and fatigue, which she discussed in subsequent interviews.

Brain aneurysms are abnormal bulges in the brain’s blood vessels, often compared to balloons filled with blood. These weak spots can rupture, leading to potentially fatal bleeding in the brain.
While the exact causes are not always clear, risk factors include high blood pressure, smoking, and a family history of aneurysms. Symptoms may include severe headaches, vision changes, and loss of consciousness.

In 2019, Clarke revealed her health struggles in a deeply personal essay for The New Yorker. She recounted the fear and uncertainty surrounding her initial diagnosis and subsequent surgeries. Clarke desired to destigmatize conversations about health issues and encourage others to seek help.

Following her first surgery, Clarke returned to filming “Game of Thrones,” but her health battles were far from over. In 2013, she underwent a second surgery to address a smaller aneurysm that had been detected during a routine brain scan.

Clarke faced additional challenges during her recovery. She went through a period of intense anxiety and depression, which she described as her “darkest time.”
Despite the setbacks, Clarke remained committed to her career and advocacy work. She continued to deliver captivating performances on screen while using her platform to raise awareness about brain injury prevention and support. Clarke became involved with organizations like the Brain Injury Association and Headway, leveraging her celebrity status to amplify their messages.

Emilia Clarke’s SameYou awareness efforts


Credits: Emilia Clarke via Instagram

Emilia Clarke’s journey from gratitude to advocacy began with a simple desire to give back. Reflecting on her time in the hospital, she initially thought of buying a comfy sofa for the facility, acknowledging the support of her family during her recovery.

However, her perspective shifted as she recognized the challenges faced by brain injury survivors beyond the immediate medical care. Determined to make a meaningful difference, Clarke and her mother embarked on a mission to address the overlooked aspect of life after a brain injury.

In March 2019, she founded SameYou, a charity aimed at raising awareness and providing support for individuals navigating the complexities of recovery. SameYou’s mission emphasizes restoring a sense of identity and purpose for survivors, recognizing the value of every individual’s journey.

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Through initiatives focused on neurorehabilitation, nursing education, and clinical research, SameYou seeks to empower survivors and promote holistic recovery. Clarke’s dedication to this cause has garnered widespread recognition and admiration within the medical community, where her advocacy is hailed as a transformative force for change.

The public response to Clarke’s revelation was overwhelmingly supportive, with fans and fellow celebrities expressing admiration for her bravery. In February 2024, Clarke and her mother received an MBE at Windsor for their work. The outpouring of support has further fueled Clarke’s determination to advocate for brain injury awareness.


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A dedicated writer, enamored with comic books and television shows. Also interested in animation and art, seeking inspiration and fostering creativity. Deeply invested in the medium of storytelling and narrative fiction.

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