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Serena Williams 'almost died after giving birth' and urges people to support charities to improve care

Telegraph Sport
Serena Williams returns courtside in front of watchful glare of daughter Olympia - Getty Images North America

Serena Williams has revealed she nearly "died after giving birth to my daughter", in an article for CNN.

The 23-time grand slam champion's dramatic labour was already known following a fascinating interview with Vogue earlier this year. Williams had said she endured a series of operations just days after her daughter Olympia was delivered via an emergency c-section.

Yet now the 36-year-old has opened up further on her traumatic experience.

“I almost died after giving birth to my daughter, Olympia,” she writes.

“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 traveling to my lungs.”

While Williams was lucky to receive lifesaving medical care, she went on to say how unfortunate other Americans are: “According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, black women in the United States are over three times more likely to die from pregnancy or childbirth-related causes.

"But this is not just a challenge in the United States. Around the world, thousands of women struggle to give birth in the poorest countries. When they have complications like mine, there are often no drugs, health facilities or doctors to save them. If they don’t want to give birth at home, they have to travel great distances at the height of pregnancy.”

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Williams went on to urge people to donate to charities such as UNICEF to support new mothers and babies.

"Every mother, everywhere, regardless of race or background deserves to have a healthy pregnancy and birth. And you can help make this a reality," she added.

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