Serena Williams health: ‘I almost died’ – tennis legend reveals ‘slew’ of complications
Serena Williams, 38, will be widely debated in BBC One’s ‘Wimbledon: The Greatest Championships’ on Saturday afternoon (2.15pm), as the hunt for the best ever ladies’ singles final continues. But the US legend has previously revealed that she almost died after welcoming her daughter to the world.
Williams is just one Grand Slam title away from matching the current record for the most singles titles ever won.
She is currently sat on 23 Grand Slams, including seven Wimbledon titles; on behind Margaret Court’s record of 24.
But Williams has recently revealed that she had a life-threatening experience at the end of 2017.
She almost died following post-natal complications, and an emergency Caesarean section.
Williams gave birth to her daughter, Olympia, in September 2017.
She had a “pretty easy” pregnancy, but was forced to have an emergency C-section after the baby’s heart rate dropped suddenly during contractions.
The surgery went smoothly, and Olympia was successfully delivered.
However, just 24 hours later, Williams explained that the next six days were full of uncertainty.
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“I almost died after giving birth to my daughter, Olympia,” she told CNN, in 2018.
“It began with a pulmonary embolism, which is a condition in which one or more arteries in the lungs becomes blocked by a blood clot. Because of my medical history with this problem, I live in fear of this situation. So, when I fell short of breath, I didn’t wait a second to alert the nurses.
“This sparked a slew of health complications that I am lucky to have survived.
“First my C-section wound popped open due to the intense coughing I endured as a result of the embolism. I returned to surgery, where the doctors found a large haematoma, a swelling of clotted blood, in my abdomen.”
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Williams returns to surgery for treatment that aimed to prevent blood clots from travelling to her lungs.
She eventually returned home to her new family, but had to spend the first six weeks of motherhood in bed.
The former world No 1 admitted, however, that she considers herself lucky.
“I am so grateful I had access to such an incredible medical team of doctors and nurses at a hospital with state-of-the-art equipment,” she said.
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“They knew exactly how to handle this complicated turn of events. If it weren’t for their professional care, I wouldn’t be here today.”
Williams returned to competitive tennis five months after giving birth.
But she urged for public to help those that aren’t as fortunate as her, by donating to UNICEF, and demanding action from governments.
Around 2.6 million newborn babies die before their lives have started – 80 percent of which from preventable causes -, she added.
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