Sharon Stone opens up about her brain injury

The Hollywood star is living with the effects of a brain aneurysm and stroke she suffered in 2001.

The 57-year-old star of Basic Instinct has talked about her experience for Harper's Bazaar magazine. She says the stroke and its aftermath of brain injury have transformed her in ways that she is still discovering. She had emerged from hospital stuttering, limping and unable to read and later struggled to remember lines for her roles, which she described as ‘humiliating’. Stone’s stroke diagnosis arose after she went to hospital, having felt unwell for several days. She lost consciousness soon after being admitted. "When I came to, the doctor was leaning over me. I said, 'Am I dying?' And he said, 'You're bleeding into your brain,' " she remembers. "I said, 'I should call my mom,' and he said, 'You're right. You could lose the ability to speak soon.' " You can read about childhood stroke here.  Several days and two angiograms later, Stone was diagnosed with a ruptured vertebral artery. She says that at one point she woke up to find herself being wheeled into surgery. "I was haemorrhaging so much that my brain had been pushed into the front of my face," she says. Surgeons repaired the artery with 22 platinum coils. "It took two years for my body just to absorb all the internal bleeding I had," she says. "It almost feels like my entire DNA changed. My brain isn't sitting where it used to, my body type changed, and even my food allergies are different." It took months for her to regain feeling in her left leg and years for her vision to return to normal; she also fought to eliminate a persistent stutter. However Stone says the brain injury has also made her ‘more emotionally intelligent’, adding “Now I'm stronger. And I can be abrasively direct. That scares people, but I think that's not my problem." She laughs. "It's like, I have brain damage; you'll just have to deal with it."
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