Emilia Clarke has sent her thanks to the NHS workers who "saved [her] life" after she suffered a brain haemorrhage.
The ‘Game of Thrones’ star has endured two health scares in 2011 and 2013, and in an open letter to the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) to mark the institution’s 72nd anniversary, Emilia thanked the team of staff who made sure she was never "truly alone" during her ordeals.
In the lengthy message, which was shared by The Sunday Times magazine, she wrote: "The memories I will hold dearest, though, are ones that fill me with awe: of the nurses and doctors I knew by name when, in the weeks after my first brain haemorrhage, we watched the passing of time and the passing of patients in the Victor Horsley Ward at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in Queen Square, London. 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."
Emilia went on to thank her anaesthetist who "kept [her] giggling" before her surgery, the phlebotomist who took her blood for testing, and the doctors who treated her, as well as nurses and cleaners who helped her when she was at her worst.
She added: "The countless unthanked nurses who changed my catheter and cleaned up my vomit on the days when I couldn’t even manage water. The nurses who washed my body with care and love when I couldn’t walk or sit, who put me in pyjamas I recognised as my own when my morale dipped below the surface, with as much kindness as if I had been their own daughter.
"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 33-year-old actress also recalled a moment in which she was rushed to the ICU after a bout of "dehydration-led aphasia", when a nurse allowed her mother to stay with her against the usual guidelines, because Emilia was scared she would die.
She concluded her message: "When I was in ICU following a severe bout of dehydration-led aphasia, during which I lost my ability to speak coherently, I heard the patient in the bed next to me in the final moments of his life. One of the nurses on duty allowed my mum to stay next to me and hold my hand instead of leaving, as every other patient’s loved ones were asked to do. She saw that, in this moment, she held my fragile mind, and its capacity to pray that I wouldn’t be next, in her hands.
"In all those moments, over those three weeks, I was not, not ever, truly alone."