Martina Navratilova was today discharged from Nairobi Hospital, after making a good recovery from high altitude pulmonary oedema, an accumulation of fluid on the lungs, which she developed while climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania to raise funds for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation.
Martina’s team of Laureus fundraisers, including German Paralympic Cyclist and Laureus Friend & Ambassador Michael Teuber and British Olympic badminton star Gail Emms reached the summit of 19,341ft Mt. Kilimanjaro yesterday despite battling severe weather conditions on the mountain. In total, 18 of the 27 fundraisers reached the top.
Martina was in high spirits on leaving the hospital, she said: “I am feeling much better and really pleased to be going home. I’d like to thank all the staff at Nairobi Hospital, who were wonderful, and really took care of me. The care I received during my three days in hospital was excellent.
“I have also been very touched by all the messages of support I have received over the past few days, and want to thank Laureus Academy Chairman Edwin Moses in particular, for making a very early morning call from Atlanta today to wish me well. It was great to chat to him, although I did joke that perhaps I have gone above and beyond the call of duty for Laureus on this occasion!
“It’s great to know that the team have all returned safely from the mountain. I was so pleased to hear that so many of them made it to the summit despite the weather conditions, and I hope people reward their efforts by continuing to donate at www.laureus.com”
Martina, who was leading the team of fundraisers, was forced to abandon the climb on day four. She was assisted down the mountain by porters and driven to nearby Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre for assessment, then, as a precaution, she was flown to Nairobi hospital for further tests which showed she was suffering from high altitude pulmonary oedema.
The climb began on Monday (Dec 6), and the Laureus team have had to face blizzards and torrential rain, which made progress extremely difficult throughout the week. The group of fundraisers safely reached the base of the mountain earlier today, and were delighted to hear news that Martina had been discharged from hospital.
German Paralympic Cyclist and Laureus Friend & Ambassador Michael Teuber, said: “It is fantastic to return to the news that Martina is getting much better and has been able to leave hospital. We were of course all very concerned for her and sad that she was forced to abandon the climb, but are delighted to know that she is now on the mend.”