Navratilova becomes ill during climb

Published Dec. 10, 2010 12:00 a.m. ET

Tennis legend Martina Navratilova was recovering in a Nairobi hospital on Friday after suffering a pulmonary odema during a charity climb of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

Navratilova, who was leading a team of 27 climbers to raise funds for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation charity, became ill on the fourth day of the climb up Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa at 19,341 feet.

The 54-year-old, who won 18 Grand Slam singles titles, 31 Grand Slam women's doubles titles and 10 Grand Slam mixed doubles titles, was helped down the mountain and flown to Nairobi for further tests that revealed the odema.

"I'm disappointed not to be able to complete this amazing journey," said Navratilova, who holds both American and Czech citizenship.

"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 (Saturday)."

Dr. David Silverstein, consultant in cardiology and internal medicine at the Nairobi Hospital, said the odema was "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. Martina is doing well and will continue to do well."


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