Game Of Thrones star Emilia Clarke has shared previously unseen photos showing her recovering from brain surgery.
Clarke, 32, revealed last month that she had suffered two life-threatening aneurysms during the early seasons of the fantasy series.
The British actress shared the photos with CBS Sunday Morning and described the agonising moment in 2011 when she realised she was seriously unwell.
“I was in the gym – the most excruciating pain, like an elastic band snapped (in my head), an enormous amount of pressure just suddenly.
“And then very very quickly I realised I couldn’t stand and I couldn’t walk. At that moment I knew I was being brain damaged.”
Her first aneurysm, which caused her to suffer a haemorrhagic stroke, came after she finished the first season of Game Of Thrones.
Six weeks later she was back at work, and she told CBS that working on season two made her too busy to “question my mortality”.
She said: “You go on the set, and you play a badass character, and you walk through fire, and you speak to hundreds of people, and you’re being asked to be – to work as hard as you possibly can.
“And that became the thing that just saved me from considering my own mortality.”
Before she left hospital after the first aneurysm, Clarke was told she had a second one on the other side of her brain which could burst at any time.
However, she continued to work through the second and third seasons of Game Of Thrones.
Two years on, after finishing season three, a scan showed the growth had doubled in size.
Doctors operated twice, she spent another month in hospital, and Clarke told CBS that a part of her brain had died during the second aneurysm after being starved of blood for too long.
She said she had worried about her ability to act, after doctors said they were unsure how she would be affected.
“So, they (the doctors) literally were looking at the brain and being like, ‘Well, we think it could be – could be her concentration, it could be her peripheral vision,’ said Clarke.
“I always say it’s my taste in men,” she joked.
“For a very long time, I thought it was my ability to act… that was a deep paranoia.”
Clarke’s decision to recently break her silence over her health problems came as she launched her own charity, SameYou, aimed at supporting young people with brain injuries.
The final series of Game Of Thrones starts on 14 April.
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