Tennis champion, Serena Williams knew something had gone terribly wrong just a day after giving birth to her child.
She explained what happened in Vogue Magazine stating,”The next day, while recovering in the hospital, Serena suddenly felt short of breath. Because of her history of blood clots, and because she was off her daily anticoagulant regimen due to the recent surgery, she immediately assumed she was having another pulmonary embolism. (Serena lives in fear of blood clots.) She walked out of the hospital room so her mother wouldn’t worry and told the nearest nurse, between gasps, that she needed a CT scan with contrast and IV heparin (a blood thinner) right away. The nurse thought her pain medicine might be making her confused. But Serena insisted, and soon enough a doctor was performing an ultrasound of her legs. “I was like, a Doppler? I told you, I need a CT scan and a heparin drip,” she remembers telling the team. The ultrasound revealed nothing, so they sent her for the CT, and sure enough, several small blood clots had settled in her lungs. Minutes later she was on the drip. “I was like, listen to Dr. Williams!”
A near death experience in childbirth involving one of the greatest female athletes of all-time will inevitably create buzz on social media but it’s also the story of millions of women of color across the nation.
ProPublica has published an investigative series on the effect socioeconomics has on motherhood in America. One piece in that series, titled “How Hospitals Are Failing Black Mothers,” reports, “It’s been long-established that black women… fare worse in pregnancy and childbirth, dying at a rate more than triple that of white mothers. And while part of the disparity can be attributed to factors like poverty and inadequate access to health care, there is growing evidence that points to the quality of care at hospitals where a disproportionate number of black women deliver, which are often in neighborhoods disadvantaged by segregation,” writes Annie Waldman.
Data like this highlights the fact that the American medical system has a long-standing racial gap for dealing with diseases such as diabetes.
Let’s not forget that compared to the general population, African Americans are disproportionately affected by diabetes as reported by the American Diabetes Association:
13.2% of all African Americans aged 20 years or older have diagnosed diabetes.
African Americans are 1.7 times more likely to have diabetes as non Hispanic whites.
African-Americans are significantly more likely to suffer from blindness, kidney disease and amputations.
Good diabetes management can help reduce your risk of developing a diabetes health-related complication; however, many people are not even aware that they have diabetes until they develop one of its complications.
About 2.8 percent of U.S. adults — one-third of those with diabetes — still don’t know they have it reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
You cane help us change that staggering stastistic!
Join us for Fandross Festival on Saturday, May 12 2018, 6:30 – 9:30 PM in New York, NY. We will be raising awareness of the prevention of diabetes health-related complications such as stroke by celebrating the legacy of R & B superstar, Luther Vandross. Don’t miss it! TICKETS ON SALE NOW
One final thought, Serena Williams reflecteed on her post-birth complications and said, “it made me stronger’ on the Today Show. Words to live by.