Tennis great and breast cancer survivor Martina Navratilova was forced to prematurely end her climb of Mount Kilimanjaro and is now recovering in a Nairobi, Kenya, hospital, according to reports.
Navratilova became ill on the fourth day of the climb up the 19,341-foot mountain. She was leading a team of 27 climbers to raise funds for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation charity. The sports superstar was helped down the mountain by porters and driven to the nearby Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center for treatment. As a precaution, she was then flown to the Nairobi Hospital for further tests, which showed she was suffering from high-altitude pulmonary edema, which is an accumulation of fluid in the lungs.
According to David Silverstein, a consultant in cardiology and internal medicine at the Nairobi Hospital, Navratilova will recover. "Basically this is fluid in the lungs related to high altitude. It is potentially dangerous when someone is at high altitude, but once brought down, recovery is quick," Silverstein says. "Martina is doing well and will continue to do well."
Navratilova released the following statement from her bed at the Nairobi Hospital: "I'm disappointed not to be able to complete this amazing journey. It was something that I have wanted to do for so long, but it was not to be. I am so pleased that we got it going and I will be watching and waiting for news from the climb when they reach the summit tomorrow [Sat]. I didn't make it, but I think it has been a great success as we have raised funds and awareness for the work that Laureus does."