Sports presenter Charlie Webster is fighting for her life in Rio after contracting a rare strain of malaria on her way to the Olympic Games.
The former Sky Sports News presenter fell ill after completing a 3,000-mile charity cycle from London.
She was admitted to hospital on August 6 after watching the Olympic opening ceremony, having only arrived in Rio a few days earlier.
Doctors initially thought she was dehydrated following her six-week Ride to Rio challenge, but her condition quickly deteriorated after developing a severe complication from a bacterial infection. She was placed in an induced coma in a Rio hospital on Wednesday night with a rare strain of malaria, the Telegraph reports.
The 33-year-old, who was working with the Team GB Olympic media team, cycled from London’s Olympic Stadium to Rio to raise funds for the Jane Tomlinson Foundation, and was due to stay in Rio as part of Team GB’s Great Britons campaign alongside Nick Grimshaw and Jodie Kidd.
Last night, Charlie Webster’s agent Megan Carter confirmed that the TV presenter was seriously ill.
She said in an Instagram post:
Charlie has contracted a rare form of malaria and is undergoing treatment at a hospital in Rio de Janeiro.
Charlie is getting the best treatment available from a team of specialist doctors from Brazil, the USA and the UK.
A friend reportedly told The Sun:
Charlie is battling for survival at the moment – everyone is distraught.
But she is so strong and a very fit and healthy person in general so we have to keep positive.
The doctors have now identified the very rare malaria strain she has contracted so she is receiving the right treatment in Rio, with advice being provided by the London School of Tropical Medicine.
The Ride to Rio campaign wished her well through Twitter, describing her as a ‘tough lady’.
Our thoughts are with Webster.