I Almost Died After Giving Birth To My Daughter, Says Serena Williams

Updated: 21 February 2018 13:49 IST

Serena Williams recalled how childbirth had become.

I Almost Died After Giving Birth To My Daughter, Says Serena Williams
Serena Williams gave birth to her daughter on September 1. © Instagram

Serena Williams said on Tuesday that she nearly died while giving birth to her daughter, Olympia, after developing blood clots in her lungs. She further added that since then she lives in fear of blood clots, which had left her scarred during the distressing post-natal ordeal in September last year. The 23-time Grand Slam champion also revealed that she had an emergency Cesarean section surgery after her increased heart rate during contractions. However, the surgery was successful.

"I almost died after giving birth to my daughter," AFP quoted Serena as writing in an op-ed piece for CNN.

"But what followed just 24 hours after giving birth were six days of uncertainty," she added.

In a Vogue magazine interview in January, Serena had said that during her post-natal ordeal, she suffered a pulmonary embolism -- when blood clots block one or more arteries in the lungs.

Serena has had a scrape with death from blood clots. In 2011, she spent nearly 12 months incapacitated after a cut on her foot from a piece of broken glass at a Munich restaurant led to a pulmonary embolism.

"Because of my medical history with this problem I live in fear of this situation," the American said on Tuesday.

Serena said that while recovering in the hospital, one day after the emergency Caesarean, she felt short of breath and after some convincing on Serena's part, the hospital staff finally sent for a CT scan and then put her on a life-saving drip.

But her ordeal wasn't over. She started coughing so much from the blood clots that her Cesarean wound popped open.

"I returned to surgery where the doctors found a large hematoma in my abdomen. 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 six weeks of motherhood in bed."

Serena praised the hospital staff on Tuesday saying "if it weren't for their professional care, I wouldn't be here today". She did not reveal the name of the hospital in the CNN piece.

Her kind words though were in contrast to some sharp statements she made in the earlier Vogue article where she says she had to coax the hospital staff to send her for a CT scan and hook her up to an IV.

"I was like a Doppler? I told you, I need a CT scan and a heparin drip (blood thinner)," Serena told the magazine.

Serena said it was a complicated experience and despite the agonizing ups and downs she "considers herself fortunate".

Partly for surviving the ordeal and also because she can still live out her dream on the tennis court once she returns to competitive form.

The former world number one staged her long-awaited tennis comeback earlier this month by playing alongside her older sister, Venus, in a Federation Cup doubles match but it didn't go well.

Serena -- looking rusty and slow-footed -- lost 6-2, 6-3 to the unheralded Dutch pairing of Lesley Kerkhove and Demi Schuurs.

(With AFP inputs)

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Topics : Serena Williams Tennis
Highlights
  • Serena Williams suffered a pulmonary embolism during post-natal ordeal
  • Serena Williams had an emergency Cesarean section surgery
  • Serena Williams recalled how childbirth had become
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