Williams recovering following health scareLOS ANGELES - A medical emergency resulting from a blood clot in Serena Williams’ lung was “the scariest moment in my life,” the tennis star said Wednesday. But Williams insisted the health crisis would not hurt her tennis game.
“Luckily enough, I was able to catch it soon enough that my career won’t be affected,” Williams told NBC’s “Today Show.”
“I love tennis and now more than anything I have so much to look forward to,” she said. “I really just want to come back and do well.”
The former world No. 1 and 13-time Grand Slam singles champion is recovering after emergency surgery to remove the blood clot.
Williams suffered a pulmonary embolism in February and a second health scare last week that required her to undergo an emergency operation at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.
The 29-year-old, who underwent surgery a day after she attended post-Oscar parties in Hollywood, has had ongoing medical problems with her foot after stepping on broken glass.
Williams told NBC that the blood clot “went from my leg to my lung. It traveled fast. I still have several clots in my lung and they are still there. They have to eventually dissolve.”
The tennis star has undergone two operations on her right foot since it was cut by glass at a Munich restaurant last July and has not played a top-level match since taking last year’s Wimbledon title.
She ranks sixth among women on the all-time Grand Slam singles title list, due to her winning the U.S. Open three times, Wimbledon four times, the French Open once and the Australian Open five times.
The younger sister of fellow tennis star Venus Williams, Serena stretched her stay atop the world rankings to 123 weeks before her limited play allowed Caroline Wozniacki to pass her for No. 1 last October.
Williams, who has slid to 11th in the rankings, recounted to NBC how her leg swelled, which is a tell-tale sign of embolism.
“I could not breathe,” Williams said. “I remember thinking, I’m walking but I cannot breathe. That forced me to the emergency room.”
Once admitted to the hospital, a CT scan “found several blood clots.”
“I was like, ‘wow.’ They told me they had to check me in immediately or it wasn’t going to be a good result,” she said.
Williams said the medical concerns have continued, despite the upbeat prognosis.
“I’m on blood thinner injections, so I inject myself twice a day,” she said.
In addition, she said she has developed a large hematoma of the stomach as a result of being on medication.
“I developed what started as a golf ball ended up being a grapefruit on my stomach. I had to get it drained. When I got there they said, we can’t drain it, we have to surgically remove it,” Williams said. “I’m taking it a day at a time. My lungs are fairly healthy and I’m just on the road to recovery.”
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폐색전증 서리나 윌리엄스 “내생애 가장 무서운 순간”
폐에 피가 고이는 폐색전증을 앓고 있는 ‘흑진주’ 테니스 스타 서리나 윌리엄스(30·미국)가 자신의 투병 생활에 대해 “내 생애에서 가장 무서운 순간”이라고 말했다.
10일 AP통신에 따르면 지난달 폐색전증 진단을 받은 윌리엄스는 9일 NBC 방송의 ‘투데이’에 출연해 “다리에 부기가 많이 생기면서 이상한 증상이라고 생각했다”며 “숨도 제대로 쉴 수 없어 최근 3주간 집 밖으로 나간 적이 거의 없다”고 말했다.
13차례나 메이저대회 단식 우승을 차지한 그는 “내 생애에서 가장 무서운 순간이지만 반드시 선수로 다시 뛰고 싶다”면서 “올 여름에 복귀하고 싶고 그보다 더 빨랐으면 좋겠다”고 복귀에 강한 의지를 드러냈다.
그러면서 “아직 완전히 회복되지 않았지만 언젠가는 완쾌될 것”이라고 했다.