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Everybody knows Emilia Clarke’s character Daenerys, but few know how she battled for her life twice

6 min read

Good Stuff
Source: Facebook/EmiliaClarke

Many know her character “Daenerys Targaryen” but don’t know her incredible story, battling for life… twice. Now Emilia Clarke is asking for the public’s support of the incredible nursing staff.

Britains nurses have a new champion: the Mother of Dragons!

Just as Emilia Clarke thought all her dreams were coming true, the Game of Thrones actress was struck down by a crippling brain aneurysm during the first series of the cult show. Without emergency surgery she would die. Two seasons later, she was again struck down by a second aneurysm, this one even more serious. Through her own experiences with the staff that nursed her to recovery, and again with the staff that nursed her dying father, Clarke determined to become a champion of this under appreciated but so vitally important workforce.

Everybody knows her character Daenerys; but few know how she battled for her life twice Amelia is a true #celebworthcelebrating Source: https://www.facebook.com/brightvibes/videos/2289635154407896/

Just as she had finished filming Season One, Clarke was struck with the first of two aneurysms

Aged four, Emilia Clarke‘s father took her to the theatre and she knew she wanted to become an actress. She played in several school productions and studied at the Drama Centre London, where she graduated in 2009. 

She gave herself one year to audition for roles with some promise. She paid the rent by working in a pub, and obscure museum and a call center.

Then, in early 2010, she got a casting call for the pilot of Game of Thrones. At the second audition in LA they told her: “Congratulations Princess”, and she landed the role of Daenerys Targaryen.

Then, at the moment all of her childhood dreams seemed to be coming true, she nearly lost her mind and then her life…

Source: TheNewYorker

After three hours of brain surgery she woke up in unbearable pain, and temporarily suffered from aphasia. She was not even able to say her own name.
A brain scan revealed Clarke had a life-threatening aneurysm, an arterial rupture After three hours of brain surgery she woke up in unbearable pain, and temporarily suffered from aphasia. She was not even able to say her own name. Source: YouTube/CBS

After three hours of brain surgery Clarke awoke unable to say her own name

In 2011, after shooting the first Game of Thrones season, Amelia felt quite stressed over the upcoming publicity campaign and the series premiere.

To relieve stress, she worked out in the gym. As she Felt a terrible headache coming on, she went to the rest room. The shooting, stabbing pain was getting worse and at some level she realised “My brain was damaged.“

To keep her memory alive, Emilia tried to recall some lines from Game of Thrones.

Fortunately, a stranger heard her talking to herself and called and ambulance that rushed her to the hospital, where a brain scan revealed she had suffered a life-threatening aneurysm, an arterial rupture.

After three hours of brain surgery she woke up in unbearable pain, and temporarily suffered from aphasia. She was not even able to say her own name. Amazingly, one month after being admitted, she went back on tour to promote Game of Thrones. As she said at the time, “The show must go on.”

Back on set for season two, she didn’t miss a beat. But the pain and threat of another aneurysm made her feel deeply unsure of herself. “If I am truly being honest, every minute of every day I thought I was going to die.“

Source: TheNewYorker

Based on her own experience, Amelia founded a charity called SAMEYOU.org which aims to help young adults become themselves again after brain injury and stroke.
Today Clark feels endless gratitude towards the nursing staff who cared for her Based on her own experience, Amelia founded a charity called SAMEYOU.org which aims to help young adults become themselves again after brain injury and stroke. Source: YouTube/CBS

“In the years since my second surgery, I have healed beyond my most unreasonable hopes.”

After season three in 2013, Clark was struck by fate once more and had to undergo another, more serious and invasive operation. Her recovery was even more painful this time.

The uncertainty of possible brain damage and thinking she was not going to survive cause severe anxiety attacks.

But today Clark feels endless gratitude. “In the years since my second surgery, I have healed beyond my most unreasonable hopes.”

Emilia believes that playing a strong woman on TV helped her overcome her health struggles.

Based on her own experience, Amelia founded a charity called SAMEYOU.org which aims to help young adults become themselves again after brain injury and stroke.

She is also ambassador of the Royal College of nursing. “We’ve all had experience dealing with sickness of ourselves or loved ones, and the nurses that care for us need our care now.“

She only recently published her harrowing story in the New Yorker, after which she received many heartwarming responses.

Source: TheNewYorker 

Nurses have a new champion: the Mother of Dragons! As the NHS turns 70, Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke pays tribute to the dedicated nursing staff that cared for her father at the Royal College of Nursing, for whom she is an Ambassador. Source: Facebook/BBC
Again, when her father became terminally ill, the compassion and care the nursing staff displayed cemented in Emilia’s mind the need to stand up for this under appreciated workforce.
As Clarke recovered in hospital the nursing staff could not have been more attentive Again, when her father became terminally ill, the compassion and care the nursing staff displayed cemented in Emilia’s mind the need to stand up for this under appreciated workforce. Source: YouTube/CBS

Clarke now fronts a nursing charity and has become Ambassador for the Royal College of Nursing

Beyond her work as an actor, Clarke decided to throw herself into a charity she helped develop in conjunction with partners in the UK and the US, called SameYou, that aims to provide treatment for people recovering from brain injuries and stroke.

She says on the SameYou website: “As more people recover from brain injury and stroke because of improvements in acute care, we urgently need a major initiative to propel neuro-rehabilitation support services to the forefront.

I know from personal experience that the support you receive when you leave hospital can have a huge impact on your recovery. Young adults in particular face immense challenges trying to rebuild their lives. 

Not everyone is able to make a full recovery after brain injury or stroke, but I believe that everyone should have access to the best possible mental and physical rehabilitation to maximise their individual recovery potential. 

I am calling for the prioritisation of increased funding for neurorehabilitation.  Everyone after leaving hospital should have the multi-disciplinary rehabilitation and recovery care they desperately need. 

Let’s fix this need for immediate post-acute rehabilitation now.”

Clarke’s passion for nurses doesn’t end there. 

In 2018 the ‘Mother of Dragons’ became Ambassador for the Royal College of Nursing, a role she takes very seriously. 

Her first activity as ambassador was the launch of a new fundraising campaign for the RCN Foundation.

By donating via Omaze, supporters could win the opportunity to spend a day with Emilia on the Game of Thrones set as it recorded its final series.

The proceeds of the auction will be used by the RCN Foundation to launch a programme of educational and research grants in Emilia Clarke’s name to support specialist nurses.

Source: SameYou.org


Between her work as Ambassador for the Royal College of Nursing, and her charity work raising awareness with SameYou.org and NursingNow.org, there are ways you can help The Mother of Dragons help nurses.
If you want to help Emilia help nurses, see below for details. Between her work as Ambassador for the Royal College of Nursing, and her charity work raising awareness with SameYou.org and NursingNow.org, there are ways you can help The Mother of Dragons help nurses. Source: Sameyou.org
Make an Impact

Omaze: fundraising for Nursing

Omaze runs a variety of competitions you can enter to win all sorts of exciting prizes. Check out their website for the latest thrilling adventures you could win for supporting nurses.