Emilia Clarke has penned an emotional essay detailing how she survived two life-threatening brain aneurysms while filming the wildly popular TV show Game Of Thrones.
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In an article for The New Yorker, Clarke shares her harrowing story for the first time ever, which began when she had just finished filming season one of the hit HBO show.
Clarke, who plays 'Mother of Dragons' Daenerys Targaryen, was just 24 years old when she was floored by a terrible headache during a workout with a personal trainer.
"I immediately felt as though an elastic band were squeezing my brain. I tried to ignore the pain and push through it, but I just couldn't," she wrote.
"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.
"Meanwhile, the pain - shooting, stabbing, constricting pain - was getting worse. At some level, I knew what was happening: my brain was damaged."
The Emmy Award nominee fell unconscious and was rushed to hospital where she was diagnosed with a near-fatal subarachnoid hemorrhage requiring urgent brain surgery.
Following the operation, Clarke revealed she suffered from aphasia, a language impairment condition that saw her unable to remember her own name.
"I went into a blind panic," she said. "I could see my life ahead, and it wasn't worth living. I am an actor; I need to remember my lines. Now I couldn't recall my name."
"In my worst moments, I wanted to pull the plug. I asked the medical staff to let me die."
Clarke recovered enough to film the second season of Game of Thrones - her worst one, she said - but she wasn't out of the woods yet.
"If I am truly being honest, every minute of every day I thought I was going to die," she wrote.
By 2013, a second aneurysm on Clarke's brain had "doubled in size", requiring invasive surgery through her skull.
"I looked as though I had been through a war more gruesome than any that Daenerys experienced," she explained.
"I emerged from the operation with a drain coming out of my head. Bits of my skull had been replaced by titanium."
Now 32 years old, Clarke says she has "healed beyond her most unreasonable hopes".
With the eighth and final season of Game Of Thrones set to premiere mid-April, Clarke said these days she's at "one hundred percent".
"There is something gratifying, and beyond lucky, about coming to the end of Thrones," she concluded.
"I'm so happy to be here to see the end of this story and the beginning of whatever comes next."