Tuesday Jul 07, 2020
British actor Emilia Clarke is harking back to her past health complications and expressing her gratitude to the healthcare workers who took care of her.
In a heartfelt letter penned for The Sunday Times, the Game of Thrones actor paid homage to the National Health Services (NHS) by contributing to writer Adam Kay’s compilation of essays titled ‘Dear NHS: 100 Stories to Say Thank You.’
Clarke, who was undergoing treatment for brain haemorrhage at the time, recalled: "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.”
She also expressed gratitude to the anesthetist “who miraculously kept me giggling along with my entire family as he talked me through the process of what was about to happen to my brain and then counted me down from 10."
She said thank you to the surgeons "whose skill, quick thinking and sheer determination saved my life, while never letting on how close to death I had been,” as well as the nurses "who washed my body with care and love when I couldn't walk or sit."
Clarke paid tribute to 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."
Ending her letter, she recalled how during the course of her recovery from aphasia caused by extreme dehydration, she heard a patient lying in the bed next to her during their last moments of life.
She went on and thanked the nurse who allowed her mother to stay with her and hold her hand while asking family members of other patients to leave.
"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.”