Australian swimming great Ariarne Titmus is on the mend after a shock health scare.
The 23-year-old underwent surgery on Wednesday to remove two benign tumours in her ovary.
The growth was found three weeks ago when she went in for a scan to assess a long-term hip injury, with doctors uncovering the source of that problem and a far more serious concern.
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“Sometimes as an athlete you think you’re immune to real-life health problems. We’re too busy keeping our body in check to perform and push ourselves day in and day out,” Titmus wrote.
“For a while I’ve been managing an ongoing hip injury, and three weeks ago I had an MRI to suss out exactly what was going on.
“Sure enough, there was a little something with the hip of which is completely manageable.
“However, it was something else that the doctors picked up on that made everything else seem irrelevant.
“A large growth was found on my right ovary.”
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Ariarne Titmus is on the mend. Credit: Instagram
Titmus said the doctors’ find had left her fearing she would never get to live out her “biggest dream” of becoming a mother.
“In these moments you think of the worst-case scenario, and I was petrified of potentially losing the ovary or there being implications that could affect me and my desire to have children one day,” the dual Olympic gold medallist said.
“However, I am one of the lucky ones.
“My ovary was 8.5x7cm in size and contained two benign tumours called dermoids, both 4cm in size.
“Yesterday I had surgery and they were removed safely. I’m feeling well and relieved they are out.”
The Queensland-based Tasmanian will now take a short break from swimming to recover.
Titmus last competed at the world championships in July, with eyes on the Paris Olympics taking place in July next year.
Titmus won two gold medals at the world championships and claimed the 400m freestyle world record. Credit: Getty
“Being an athlete is tough. Being a woman is tough. In the past month I’ve learnt more about my body and what it is capable of,” Titmus said.
“I’ve learnt that being fit and healthy doesn’t mean you’re immune to these things. I feel blessed that I found these tumours before they got even bigger and started to have real implications on my health.
“Thank you to my family and those close to me for being there as support during a bit of a scary time.
“Thank you to the amazing doctors who safely got rid of my little ‘gremlins’ and took great care of me.
“Time to rest up and recover for a couple of weeks before we go again. Love you all.”
Support flooded in from the Olympic community, with teammates Shayna Jack, Brianna Throssell, Cate Campbell, Taylor McKeown among the first to check in.
“Always here for you. Rest up, can’t wait to see you back at the pool when the time is right,” Throssell wrote.
Titmus won her first Olympic gold medals in Tokyo two years ago. Credit: Al Bello/Getty Images
Campbell said: “How awful! Glad you’ve got such a good team around you. Rest up and heal well.”
Steph Rice said: “What a challenging time sweetheart. I’m glad you’re feeling better and taking care of yourself.”
Swimmer turned Channel 7 star Joh Griggs thanked Titmus for opening up in the hope of helping her followers.
“Oh Ariane, I’m so sorry this is what you are going through,” Griggs wrote.
“But I’m also so grateful for you sharing your experience, your fears and worries… your vulnerability, as you will no doubt help so many others.
“I’m wishing you a speedy and full recovery for many more reasons than just what you are able to accomplish in a pool (which is already beyond awe-inspiring). Much love.”
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