Serena Williams is opening up about her near-death experience after giving birth to her daughter.

In an op-ed for CNN, the tennis superstar talked candidly about childbirth complications that she experienced last September when she welcomed her daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., to the world.

“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,” Williams wrote for CNN. “This sparked a slew of health complications that I am lucky to have survived.”

Serena Williams with her daughter.

Serena Williams with her daughter, Olympia.

Williams detailed how her C-section wound “popped open” after coughing fits, which she developed further blood clots and had to undergo additional surgery to prevent them from traveling to her lungs.



The 23-time grand slam champion shed light on how pressing of an issue childbirth complications is for black women.

“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,” she wrote. “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.”



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