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Emilia Clarke Thanks Nurse Who Saved Her Life from Brain Aneurysm in New Book

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What happened: It’s been nearly 10 years since Emilia Clarke survived a subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), a life-threatening type of stroke caused by bleeding into the space around the brain. Now the “Game of Thrones” actress is saying thanks to the health care workers who saved her life. In a new book titled “Dear NHS: 100 Stories to Say Thank You,” Clarke wrote a touching and emotional letter to her doctors, nurses and caregivers.

“The nurse who suggested … I should have a brain scan,” Clarke wrote. “She saved my life.”

Clarke is one of dozens to contribute to the collection, which will be released July 9. Other big names include Emma Watson, Emma Thompson, David Tennant, Ed Sheeran, Malala Yousafzai and Paul McCartney. All proceeds from the sale of “Dear NHS” will go to United Kingdom National Health Service charities to fund various research and projects and to The Lullaby Trust, which supports bereaved parents of babies and young children.

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 Clarke

The Frontlines: U.K.’s National Health Service is well-revered, and for good reason. The NHS provides free health care to residents and non-residents alike. The publicly funded system also covers urgent care and emergency treatments, like those Clarke received. The system is not without fault. There are financial and staffing concerns; however, through NHS, U.K. residents can:

  • Visit general practitioners, mental health professionals and dentists.
  • Residents and non-residents can receive basic care and emergency treatments.
  • Some prescription drugs are covered.

A Mighty Voice: One of our contributors, Candice Hildebrant, received exorbitant medical bills after being hospitalized for several days, and she explained the potential benefits of a similar system in America.

“My family, and so many others, need government help — right now. The answer to me is supporting a national single-payer, universal health bill. I believe this system would save people’s lives and alleviate the pain and shame associated with being chronically ill, by stopping the accumulation of crushing debt that comes with being sick.” You can submit your first person story, too.

From Our Community:

Thankyou #HealthCare  #NHS

Add your voice:

A banner promoting The Mighty's new Mental Health UK group on The Mighty mobile app. The banner reads, Mental Health UK is for anyone living in the United Kingdom whose life is impacted by mental illness. Make friends, get support and share information with others in the UK. Click to join.

Other things to know: For more information about the benefits of publicly-funded health care, check out the following stories:

How to take action: You can let your voice — and opinion — be known by contacting your local representative and statewide public health official. You can learn more about existing programs, particularly for low-income families, at The Commonwealth Fund, and you can sign or start a petition on

Header image via Emilia Clarke/Instagram

Originally published: July 8, 2020
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