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Serena Williams says she almost died giving birth

PICTURED: Serena Williams (Photo credit: PA)

SERENA WILLIAMS has revealed that she almost died giving birth to daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr in September.

In an Op-ed for CNN, Williams said she was "lucky to have survived."

"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.

FAMILY: Serena Williams and daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr

"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."

Williams thanked the medical team for keeping her alive and spoke on the importance of affordable health care for mothers and newborns.

"I am so grateful I had access to such an incredible medical team of doctors and nurses at a hospital with state-of-the-art equipment. They knew exactly how to handle this complicated turn of events. If it weren't for their professional care, I wouldn't be here today."

The Former world number one made her competitive return earlier in February when she teamed up with sister Venus for the United States in the Fed Cup. She decided to opt out the Australian Open to give her more time to recover from the birth.

She has not yet decided whether she will compete at this year's remaining three Grand Slams.

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