Serena Williams: I Almost Died in Childbirth

Serena Williams: I Almost Died in Childbirth

Former world number one Serena Williams said she almost died giving birth to daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr in September.

The American, 36, made her competitive return earlier in February when she teamed up with sister Venus for the United States in the Fed Cup.

But the 23-time Grand Slam winner has revealed that giving birth “sparked a slew of health complications”.


“I am lucky to have survived,” she wrote in an article for CNN on Tuesday.

“My daughter was born by emergency C-section after her heart rate dropped dramatically during contractions. The surgery went smoothly.

“But what followed just 24 hours after giving birth were six days of uncertainty.”

Speaking about the birth, Williams continued: “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.

“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.

“When I finally made it home to my family, I had to spend the first six weeks of motherhood in bed.”

Culled from BBC Sport

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