SubArachnoid Haemorrhage is a type of brain hemorrhage which is a potentially fatal condition. The common cause of such spontaneous bleed inside the brain is dilation of the blood vessel which is medically termed as an “Aneurysm”.
As per Dr Sumit Goyal, Sr. Consultant, Neuro Surgery & Endovascular Neuro Surgery, PSRI Hospital, New Delhi, said, clinically these patients will experience sudden severe headache classically described as “Worst Headache of my life” and may be associated with neck stiffness, sensitivity to light, seizures and in severe cases in complete unconscious condition. Sometimes the deterioration is so rapid that the patient cannot reach the hospital.
The survival and long term outcome in such cases depends a lot on initial clinical status and unfortunately, despite recent advances in Neurosurgery many of them do not survive. However, some people with a lot of luck, grit, and courage are able to survive such strokes and the well-known star Emilia Clarke is one of them. Emilia is 32 years old and is known for her role as Daenerys Targaryen in the HBO blockbuster series Game of Thrones.
She has shared her experience in an essay written for The New Yorker and this essay is a great inspiration for other patients who suffer from not just brain aneurysms but any near fatal and very painful ailment. She says that she had two such aneurysms in her brain and during the time of her suffering she felt that life was not worth living anymore such was the pain and the sense of doom that she felt. One of her greatest struggles was to retain her memory because throughout her struggle with her ailment she never forgot that she was an actress and she needed to remember her lines. However, during these two struggles, she couldn’t even remember her name at times.
She underwent two surgeries and the first one was minimally invasive (Endovascular coiling)and the skull was not punctured. For the second aneurysm later she has to undergo an open surgical procedure
Needless to say, the pain and suffering that she underwent were such that she did not wish to speak about it. In fact, she kept negating the fact in media and public. However, probably the wish to share her pain with others and provide inspiration to people suffering from such horrendous ailments made her share her pain and suffering and tell her story of struggle with brain aneurysms twice where usually one is sufficient to cause death.
Today fortunately in our country because of the expertise available we are very well equipped to treat such cases by both means of minimally invasive surgery as well as open microneurosurgery. The need of the hour is to have awareness about the disease and the treatment available. We have many strong Emila around us who have fought bravely against such dreaded disease and they continue to be the source of inspiration for the society.