Earlier this year, Emilia Clarke revealed that she suffered two massive brain aneurysms that nearly killed her. (The first happened when she was just 24, and the second after season three of Game of Thrones.) She’s continued to reflect on this life-threatening experience, most recently in an interview with People. In it, Clarke talks more about what happened to her and credits the nurses and paramedics who helped her through.
“The paramedics were unbelievable,” she tells the publication. “They’d given me drugs so I was in less pain, wrapped me up like a tortilla and made me laugh the whole way to the hospital. There I was, bleeding in the brain, and there we were in this ambulance having an absolute giggle. They were so gracious.”
She also shared how important the nurses were throughout the experience; in fact, they’re a huge reason she decided to become an ambassador to Queen Elizabeth II’s patron the Royal College of Nursing. “And every single nurse I came across was so kind,” Clarke explained. “Nurses are the unsung heroes, they’re at people’s most frightening moments.”
In March, Clarke launched a charity called SameYou, which helps people recovering from brain trauma. Game of Thrones fans have helped their forever Mother of Dragons raise thousands of dollars to support others through the organization.
Emilia Clarke first opened up about her brain aneurysms in an essay for The New Yorker. “In my worst moments, I wanted to pull the plug. I asked the medical staff to let me die,” she wrote, later adding, “In the years since my second surgery, I have healed beyond my most unreasonable hopes. I am now at a hundred per cent. Beyond my work as an actor, I’ve decided to throw myself into a charity I’ve helped develop in conjunction with partners in the U.K. and the U.S. It is called SameYou, and it aims to provide treatment for people recovering from brain injuries and stroke. I feel endless gratitude—to my mum and brother, to my doctors and nurses, to my friends. “