Television presenter Charlie Webster is fighting for her life in a Rio hospital after contracting a rare strain of malaria on her way to the Olympic Games.
The 33-year-old fell ill after completing a 3,000-mile charity cycle from London to Rio.
She was admitted to hospital and medics initially thought she was dehydrated after completing a six-week ‘Ride to Rio’ challenge for charity. But now she is seriously ill in hospital after her condition deteriorated.
A post on her Facebook and Twitter accounts reads: “Charlie has updated you all throughout her cycle and we know her silence was causing concern.
“On Saturday, August 6, Charlie became unwell and was admitted to hospital in Rio de Janeiro.
“What was initially thought as dehydration, caused by her riding to Rio, has since been diagnosed as a severe complication caused by a bacterial infection.
“Charlie is receiving great care and we will update when we can.”
The former Sky Sports News presenter is reportedly in a coma and on a life support machine, with relatives having flown to Brazil to be by her side. When she was first admitted to hospital she tweeted pictures of herself in bed and put her condition down to dehydration.
She tweeted: “Very rough day, severe dehydration and infection - two drips and antibiotics.”
She later added: “I’m getting there...awful few days with serious infection.”
A friend 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.”
As part of her fundraising cycle she rode through France, Spain and Portugal before flying to the north of Brazil and cycling down to Rio.