Serena Williams shared the horrifying details of her near-death experience in an essay for Ellepublished Tuesday.
Shortly after the tennis superstar gave birth to her daughter Olympia via cesarean section in 2017, Williams wrote, she knew there was something wrong — she began coughing so heavily she “couldn’t breathe.” Nurses warned her to stop because it could burst her stitches, but she couldn’t help herself.
“I was coughing because I just couldn’t get enough air,” Williams said. “I grabbed a towel, rolled it up, and put it over my incision. Sure enough, I was hacking so hard that my stitches burst. I went into my first surgery after the C-section to get restitched.”