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Friday
Dec102010

Tennis Star Hospitalized after Attempting Kilimanjaro Climb

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(TANZANIA, Africa) -- Grand slam tennis champion Martina Navratilova is in good condition after being hospitalized with high-altitude pulmonary edema -- a form of mountain sickness -- after attempting to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest peak.

Navratilova's condition is common among high-altitude climbers as fluid accumulates in the lungs. She was diagnosed by Dr. David Silverstein, a consultant in cardiology and internal medicine at Nairobi Hospital.

Porters helped Navratilova down the 19,340-foot mountain and drove her to the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre. She was later flown to Nairobi Hospital for further tests and treatment after abandoning the climb.

The group had faced heavy snow and mist since they began their ascent last Monday.

"I'm disappointed not to be able to complete this amazing journey," Navratilova said in a statement. "It was something that I have wanted to do for so long but it was not to be."

The tennis pro had never climbed more than 12,000 feet and when she reached 14,800 feet, she began to feel sick. In high-altitude pulmonary edema, fluid develops in the lungs, either in the lung tissue itself or in the space normally used for gas exchange. The body is deprived of oxygen and cannot normally function.

The first signs are difficulty walking or inability to keep up, a tight feeling in the chest, congestion and a cough. The climber can also feel extreme fatigue and weakness and exhibit poor judgment.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio