23-time Grand Slam champion, Serena Williams revealed in a column for CNN which was published on Tuesday, that she almost died after giving birth to her daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. in September last year.
Williams had previously revealed some of the complications she had after giving birth but offered more details about an experience that has since inspired her to speak out about the importance of affordable child care.
“I am lucky to have survived,” Williams wrote in an article for CNN.
“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.”
She went on to encourage people to donate to charities that help mothers and newborns around the world, and also thanked the medical team for their professionalism.
The American great returned to competition nine days ago when she represented the United States in a Fed Cup doubles match, but hasn’t yet decided whether she’ll compete at this year’s remaining three Grand Slams.