Sharon Stone has revealed the enormous personal and professional impact of the “nine-day brain bleed”.
Thankfully, the Game of Thrones star went on to “heal beyond my most unreasonable hopes” – and producers on the HBO fantasy show ensured she had all the professional support she needed during her recovery.
Sharon Stone, though, was not so lucky.
Speaking to Variety at a Women’s Brain Health Initiative event, Stone said has said that people treated her in a way that was “brutally unkind” after she “had a massive stroke and a nine-day brain bleed”.
“People treated me in a way that was brutally unkind,” she said. “From other women in my own business to the female judge who handled my custody case, I don’t think anyone grasps how dangerous a stroke is for women and what it takes to recover – it took me about seven years.”
Despite having been one of the world’s “hottest movie star[s]”, Stone found that job offers dried up as she struggled to recover from the stroke – and she was forced to re-mortgage her house as a result.
“[From] trying to keep custody of my son to just functioning – to be able to work at all,” she said, of the “insurmountable losses” she experienced in both her professional and personal life.
“I was so grateful to Bernard Arnault, who rescued me by giving me a Dior contract,” Stone continued. “But I had to re-mortgage my house. I lost everything I had. I lost my place in the business. I was like the hottest movie star, you know? It was like Princess Diana and I were so famous – and she died and I had a stroke. And we were forgotten.”
Stone also made sure to share some potentially life-saving advice with her fans.
“If you have a really bad headache, you need to go to the hospital. I didn’t get to the hospital until day three or four of my stroke. Most people die. I had a 1% chance of living by the time I got surgery – and they wouldn’t know for a month if I would live.”
Strokes happen fast, with symptoms often coming on suddenly and without warning. However, being aware of these symptoms and getting help quickly can help you to make a full recovery.
According to the NHS, the most common symptoms of a stroke can be remembered with the words ‘FAST’:
- Face – the face may have dropped on 1 side, the person may not be able to smile, or their mouth or eye may have drooped.
- Arms – the person with suspected stroke may not be able to lift both arms and keep them there because of weakness or numbness in 1 arm.
- Speech – their speech may be slurred or garbled, or the person may not be able to talk at all despite appearing to be awake; they may also have problems understanding what you’re saying to them.
- Time – it’s time to dial 999 immediately if you notice any of these signs or symptoms.
Other symptoms and signs may include dizziness, confusion, difficulty swallowing, a sudden and severe headache, or difficulty understanding what others are saying.
The NHS adds that, even if the symptoms disappear quickly, it’s still important to go to hospital for an assessment as these can be indicative of a transient ischaemic attack (TIA) – or a “mini stroke”.
“These symptoms should be treated as a medical emergency to reduce the chances of having another stroke,” they say.
If you suspect you or someone else is having a stroke, phone 999 immediately and ask for an ambulance.
Find out more on the NHS website now.