Just three years ago Marion Bartoli was the women’s champion at Wimbledon. Now, the former world No. 7 player is fighting for her life against an unidentifiable disease.
Bartoli is just 31 years old, but has contracted a virus so rare that the medical community does not have a name for it. The disease has led to her rapid weight loss — approximately 40 lbs. since February — and caused doctors to bar her from playing at an event at Wimbledon over concerns for her health.
The details of the virus’ effect on Bartoli’s day-to-day life are harrowing.
Bartoli says she can only eat organic salad leaves and cucumbers without skins, and has to wash with mineral water rather than tap water.
“I fear for my life. I worry that one day my heart will stop,” the 2013 Wimbledon champion told ITV’s This Morning.
“My life is a living nightmare. I don’t wish this on anyone but it is gradually getting worse.”
Bartoli added that she needs gloves when she uses her mobile phone as the virus has caused severe electro-sensitivity.
It is unclear how she contracted the bug, but she theorizes it happened at some point during an international trip in January and February which included stops in Australia, New York, and India.
Bartoli is set to begin a clinical treatment on Monday.