Serena Williams on Her Near Death Experience

As you know, Serena Williams has been in the hospital dealing with health issues.  It wasn’t until yesterday at the Aegon International tennis tournament press conference that she opened up about exactly what she’s been dealing with.
It has been a totally different road because I’ve had some serious health problems and I was literally on my deathbed at one point.

The doctors said that I had several clots bilaterally in both lungs. They said if they had caught it two days later, it could have been a lot more serious, possibly career-ending.

A lot of people die from it because you don’t recognize it. I couldn’t breathe. I honestly just thought I was out of shape and needed to get on the treadmill or hit the elliptical (cross-trainer).

It was my physio who forced me to go to the hospital whereas I was actually on the way to a party. She said, ‘No, you need to go to the hospital.’ I’m glad I didn’t go to that party…

She described her near death experience:

We were leaving the restaurant, I was walking and then I felt something. I just stepped back and said, “Oh, that really hurts”. There was a massive pool of blood. I was like, ‘Oh my gosh.”‘

I ended up fainting because I lost so much blood. I ended up getting stitches in both feet. One was on top and one was on the bottom of my other foot. It sliced right through my ligament. I didn’t know that, I just knew that my toe was hanging low.

The second surgery on my foot was way tougher than the first, especially mentally. More mentally tough than anything I have been through in my life outside of my sister’s passing (her eldest sister Yetunde Price was shot dead in 2003).

I was in a cast for 20 weeks. I’d rather have been in jail for 20 weeks because I really hated that cast. Having your foot in one position so long, not moving it, not being able to walk or do a lot of things caused a lot of the problems.

After it was all over, there were a few days when I didn’t get out of bed. So much had happened to me and I couldn’t understand why. I was thinking, ‘Just what didn’t I do or what did I do to deserve this?”‘

And now…

I’m just excited to be here and playing. I hope tennis has missed Venus and me.

If tennis has missed us half as much as we’ve missed tennis, we’re in a good place. This is a comeback that’s totally different from any other comeback.

Serena won her first match yesterday since 2010.  I pray that this is a permanent recovery and that she continues to break history in the tennis world!


-Renée Nicole


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