Serena Williams has opened up about how she ‘almost died’ following complications when she gave birth to her daughter in September last year.
The 36-year-old tennis champion previously admitted she had to undergo an emergency C-section when she gave birth to daughter Alexis Olympia with husband Alexis Ohanian in September last year.
But now Serena has revealed the situation was so dire she almost lost her life just days after giving birth.
‘I almost died after giving birth to my daughter, Olympia. Yet I consider myself fortunate,’ she said.
‘While I had a pretty easy pregnancy, my daughter was born by emergency C-section after her heart rate dropped dramatically during contractions.’
‘The surgery went smoothly. Before I knew it, Olympia was in my arms. It was the most amazing feeling I’ve ever experienced in my life. But what followed just 24 hours after giving birth were six days of uncertainty,’ she revealed in an article she wrote for CNN.
Serena admitted she was plagued by health problems after giving birth including a pulmonary embolism, which is when a blood clot forms in one or more of the arteries in her lungs.
‘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 for a second to alert the nurses,’ she added.
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She wrote: ‘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 hematoma, a swelling of clotted blood, in my abdomen.
‘And then I returned to the operating room for a procedure that prevents clots from travelling to my lungs. When I finally made it home to my family, I had to spend the first six weeks of motherhood in bed.’
The seven-time Wimbledon champion then thanked her ‘incredible medical team’ for saving her life.
‘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. 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,’ she said.
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