When 2013 Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli’s recent photos surfaced on the internet a few days back, tennis fans were alarmed to see the visibly emaciated and frail physique of the Frenchwoman. Now a couple of days after her name was withdrawn from the invitational doubles competition of the 2016 Wimbledon Championships, the 31-year-old has gone public about her struggles with her health in British television ITV’s ‘This Morning’ show.
Describing her ordeal as an ‘absolute nightmare’, the current commentator-cum-fashion designer has revealed that she is suffering from a viral illness, possibly contracted during her hectic journey from Australia to India and then to New York in February.
Doctors still have not been able to pinpoint what exactly it is even after blood tests and that has left her fearing for her life. Dispelling all growing concerns that she may be anorexic, Bartoli said that it was the virus that has been the reason for her losing around 20kg in the last few months.
But what has made it worse is the fact that she has developed severe allergies and cannot afford to come in contact with anything that is electrical.
“It can be any contact with an electrical thing – I cannot type on my phone without gloves – I can’t wear certain things on my skin, I have a very bad skin reaction, it could be a tissue on my face... it’s absolutely horrendous,” she said.
Bartoli has been forced to impose a lot of restrictions upon herself because of the effects of the mystery virus. Even tap water or jewellery produces a negative reaction on her skin.
“I need to wash myself with mineral water, I can’t even wash myself with tap water. I can’t have any contact with tap water whatsoever, I can’t be on my phone for more than five minutes as my heart starts to pump and my body refuses electric, I can’t wear jewellery.
“So my life right now is an absolute nightmare, what I'm going through I wouldn’t wish it to absolutely nobody,” the former World No. 7 disclosed.
Her eating habits too have been acutely affected due to the impact of the virus. She said her body is currently not able to process proteins and she has been reduced to eating only organic salad leaves and peeled cucumber.
Despite all the adversities, the courageous Bartoli is relying on her inner strength to survive this dark phase of her life. And being a Wimbledon champion when nobody expected her to win has taught her to depend on her willpower.
“As a Wimbledon champion I’m trying to fight my hardest to survive,” Bartoli sounded hopeful.
Perhaps all is not lost for her. Virgin head honcho Richard Branson, with whom she has a close rapport, is looking for a specialist clinic for Bartoli so that she can begin her treatment soon and can be back to normal life.
Here’s sending our best wishes to the former Wimbledon winner for a speedy recovery.