Serena Williams Shares How She Almost Died While Giving Birth

January 12, 2018

Everyone’s favorite tennis star, Serena Williams, recently gave birth to her first child with her husband Alexis Ohanian. While the star had an easy pregnancy, according to her latest interview, the birth was extremely difficult.

Their daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., was born on September 1 of 2017. Apparently, when Serena was pregnant, Olympia’s heart rate dipped dangerously low as Serena was having contractions. Her doctors decided that the best decision for the mother and baby would be to have an emergency C-section.

Apparently, the surgery went off just fine. Afterwards, Olympia was laid on her mother’s chest. According to Serena, “That was an amazing feeling. And then everything went bad.”

The next day, while she was recovering, Serena suddenly couldn't catch her breath. She knew the symptoms that she was experiencing were likely due to a pulmonary embolism.

Serena had previously had a life-threatening pulmonary embolism. This occurs when blood clots travel to the lungs from other parts of the body and clot the arteries. Because she is prone to get pulmonary embolisms, she is typically on an anticoagulant regimen. However, she was off her regimen because of the procedure the day before.

As soon as she realized what was happening, Serena went to tell a nurse. She told the nurse that “she needed a CT scan with contrast and IV heparin (a blood thinner) right away.”

Instead of listening to Serena’s request, the nurse assumed that she was confused due to pain. The nurse ordered an ultrasound of her legs to ensure that there were no clots in her legs. The ultrasound revealed nothing.

When the ultrasound revealed nothing, they ordered a CT scan, as she had requested. They found several blood clots in her lungs, causing the shortness of breath that she was experiencing—just as she expected.

They immediately ordered an IV heparin drip to help thin the blood clots. She began to recover from the pulmonary embolism but had intense coughing spells.

Because of her coughing, the wound from her C-section ripped open. When she went into surgery to fix the wound, they found a hematoma in her abdomen, the result of taking blood thinners.

She then went back into surgery so doctors could insert a filter into a major vein to prevent more pulmonary embolisms and stop taking the blood thinner so her hematoma could heal.

Now, Serena is much healthier and Olympia is a happy 4-month-old. Serena recently pulled out of the Australian Open tennis tournament, citing that she needed more time to recover and train.

What a terrifying time for Serena and her family. We’re glad that she’s back to being healthy and happy. Good luck to her as she gets back into training.

In other news, this woman found a mother and her three kids living in an abandoned school bus. You have to see the incredible story that happens. Read the story here.

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