Emilia Clarke has penned a beautiful thank you letter to the NHS staff and cleaners who were there for her during a terrifying brain aneurysm in 2011.
The Game of Thrones star has had two brain aneurysms – the other in 2013 – and multiple brain surgeries since.
Her letter was published as part of The Sunday Times’ collection of 100 people sharing their personal stories of the NHS. Paul McCartney also features in the series that was published on the 72nd anniversary of the health service.
Clarke said in her emotional letter:
The memories I will hold dearest, though, are ones that fill me with awe: of the nurses and doctors I knew by name…
She then thanked a list of different people working at the hospital:
The nurse who suggested — after everyone else in A&E struggled to find an answer when I was first admitted — that maybe, just maybe I should have a brain scan. She saved my life.
[The surgeon] whose skill, quick thinking and sheer determination saved my life, while never letting on how close to death I had been.
The countless unthanked nurses who changed my catheter and cleaned up my vomit on the days when I couldn't even manage water.
[The cleaners] who mopped the floor when my bedpan fell to the ground, shame and embarrassment filling the room along with disinfectant, and then a reassuring smile and a knowledge that they'd seen worse.
[And the cooks] who made my fish in white sauce with peas every day, despite it being a child's meal.
In response to the emotional letter, some took to social media to share how much the actors words moved them:
@emiliaclarke Hello Emilia, I just read your letter to the NHS. I shed a tear because this was me in December 2019.… https://t.co/6KPk1p19bn
The GoT star has previously spoken about going through her second brain aneurysm while filming the hit-show.
After finishing season three, she went to see her doctor for a routine brain scan and discovered one side of her brain had doubled in size.
She would need life-saving surgery, but there were complications. She told The New Yorker:
When they woke me, I was screaming in pain. The procedure had failed. I had a massive bleed and the doctors made it plain that my chances of surviving were precarious if they didn’t operate again. This time they needed to access my brain in the old-fashioned way—through my skull. And the operation had to happen immediately.
It ended up going well, but the recovery "was even more painful" than her first surgery in 2011.
Clarke’s latest letter is part of author Adam Kay’s upcoming book “Dear NHS: 100 Stories to Say Thank You”, due to be released on Thursday.