After Near-Death Illness, Serena Williams Back for Wimbledon

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Serena Williams is desperately happy to be alive and well and actually able to compete at the top in tennis once again. Serena is over in the UK to play in Eastbourne’s Aegon International and discussed the deadly illness that she suffered earlier this year that almost killed her.

“I’m so excited to be back,” she said - “I was on my death bed at one point — quite literally.”

The four-time Wimbledon champ claims no one is sure how the illness began, but said it may have started from a cut on her foot.

“To this day I don’t really know the full details of what happened,” she said. “I was with my nephew and my hitting partner and we were just leaving a restaurant. I was walking and just felt something. I kept walking and it was definitely glass there. There was a massive puddle of blood. I ended up fainting and needed stitches in both feet.”

It was then that the injury took a life-threatening turn.

“At first people said it would be fine, it would be all right but it turned out to be a lot more serious,” she said. “If it had been left two days later it could have been career-ending – or even worse. They told me I had several blood clots in both lungs. A lot of people die from that.”

She continued, “It got to the stage where it felt like I could hardly breathe. Some days I didn’t get out of bed at all. I just laid on a couch thinking ‘why has this happened to me?’”

Williams underwent surgery in February due to the mystery illness.

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“Serena Williams underwent emergency treatment … for a hematoma she suffered as a result of treatment for a more critical situation,” her rep, Nicole Chabot, said in a statement at the time, adding the athlete suffered a pulmonary embolism.

“This has given me a whole new perspective on life and my career – and not taking anything for granted,” she said. “I’m just taking one day at a time. I’m not preparing for today or for Wimbledon. I’m preparing for the rest of my career.”