Game of Thrones star launches brain injury charity to improve care for young adults

Emilia Clarke also reveals that she survived two brain haemorrhages

Emilia Clarke also reveals that she survived two brain haemorrhages

Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke has launched a charity for young adults who have experienced brain injury and stroke.

RCN ambassador Ms Clarke also spoke publicly for the first time about her experience of surviving two brain haemorrhages.

Improving neurorehabilitation 

The SameYou charity will focus on improving post-surgery care when treatment and recovery resources may be lacking.

The RCN is one of the partners for the charity, which will provide grants and advocate for health leaders to improve neurorehabilitation for young adults after brain injury and stroke.

Effect of brain injury

‘I know from personal experience that the impact of brain injury is shattering,’ said Ms Clarke, who also spoke at the RCNi Nurse Awards ceremony in London last July. 

Her first brain haemorrhage in 2011 was successfully treated through endovascular coiling; for her second in 2013 she underwent a craniotomy and complex brain surgery.

‘An invisible illness’

'Recovery is long term, and rehabilitation can be difficult to access,’ she said.

‘Brain injury can be an invisible illness, and the subject is often taboo. We must help young adults to take control of their recovery and allow them to open up without fear of stigma or shame.’

Access to quality care

Ms Clarke added that the degree to which people could adapt and face the future after neurological trauma was dependent on the provision and quality of rehabilitation care.

‘While I was recovering, I saw that access to integrated mental and physical health recovery programmes are limited and not affordable for all. I am determined to help.’

More than 50 million people a year experience traumatic brain injury worldwide, according to data from the Lancet Neurology Commission, and it is a major cause of disability and death. 

Brave move

RCN acting general secretary Dame Donna Kinnair said it was ‘incredibly brave’ of Ms Clarke to speak about her experience, and added that she had been an ‘excellent ambassador’ for the college.

Professor Kinnair said: ‘Most people with a long-term neurological condition will live an active and fulfilling life, and specialist nurses and nursing teams ensure they receive care outside of hospitals as much as possible. We believe all nurses should have the knowledge and skills to be able to meet their needs.’

The Nursing Now campaign, the Stroke Association and the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston in the United States are also partners for SameYou.

Further information

SameYou website 

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