Emilia Clarke, renowned for her portrayal of Daenerys Targaryen in Game of Thrones, is set to receive an MBE in the upcoming New Year Honours. The 37-year-old actress and her mother, Jenny, are being recognized for their contributions to the establishment of the brain charity SameYou. This endeavor stemmed from Emilia’s personal experiences, having endured a brain hemorrhage at the age of 25 during her time on the HBO Max series and another at 27 in 2013.
Reflecting on her initial hemorrhage, which occurred while at the gym, Emilia expressed the realization of inadequate support for individuals like her upon being discharged from the hospital. She recounted the intense surveillance and high-stakes environment in the brain ward, emphasizing the lack of ongoing support post-discharge. The actress disclosed her own fear, even returning to the hospital shortly after being released, illustrating the profound impact of such experiences on daily life after a brain injury.
Motivated by her survival and the realization of a purpose, Emilia founded SameYou to assist brain injury survivors in reclaiming their identity. The charity collaborates with leading UK hospitals, developing innovative online group rehabilitation, postgraduate modules for nurses, and a digital resource library connecting survivors with clinicians and therapists.
Initially keeping her struggles private, Emilia now uses her platform to dispel the stigma surrounding brain injuries and advocates for pioneering programs. She believes that initiating conversations about this often-shamed topic is a crucial step in building understanding and support. The actress also shared how her experience has affected her mental health, acknowledging increased anxiety post-hemorrhage.
Despite the challenges, Emilia is grateful for her journey, emphasizing the importance of the charity’s existence. She pays tribute to her mother, acknowledging that the accolade is not just for them but for the countless individuals who have shared their experiences. As they embark on this awareness-raising journey, both Emilia and her mother view the honor as a testament to the collective efforts of those who have contributed to SameYou.