Actress Sharon Stone has shared several times in recent years about the bleeding she underwent 20 years ago, during which she lost the ability to read and had difficulty speaking for a long time. “In 2001, I had a huge brain hemorrhage. I bled in my brain for nine days,” Stone said. “I spent two years learning to walk and talk again. I came home from that stroke stuttering, I couldn’t read for two years. I was in intensive care for nine days and the survival rates from what I went through were very low.”
The vulnerabilities were not limited to Stone’s speaking and reading abilities. “It took my body two years just to absorb all the internal bleeding I had,” Stone said. “It almost feels like all my DNA has changed. My brain is not sitting as it used to, my body structure has changed, and even my food allergies are different.” But not all of the effects of the stroke were bad. “I became more emotionally intelligent. I chose to work very hard to open up other parts of my mind. Now I am stronger and I can be erosively direct.”
“I asked the medical staff to let me die”
Actress Emilia Clarke, 35, also recounted the aphasia she experienced for several days. Shortly after filming the first season of Game of Thrones in 2011, she experienced a cerebral aneurysm that caused a stroke and bleeding. This led to brain surgery, and for two weeks she said she did not remember her name.
“I suffered from a condition called aphasia, a result of the stroke I had,” she said. “In my worst moments, I wanted to unplug the socket. I asked the medical staff to let me die. My job – my whole dream of what my life would be – was concentrated in language, in communication. Without it I got lost.” Fortunately for Clark, her aphasia was temporary. “I was sent back to the intensive care unit and after about a week the aphasia passed. I could talk.”
The actress described what was the diagnosis that led, among other things, to the neurological difficulty: “The diagnosis was quick and ominous: subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), a life-threatening type of stroke, caused by bleeding into the space surrounding the brain,” she said. “I had an aneurysm, a ruptured artery. As I later learned, about a third of SAH patients die immediately or shortly thereafter. For patients who do survive, urgent treatment is required to seal the aneurysm, as there is a very high risk of second, sometimes fatal bleeding.”