TV presenter Charlie Webster in a coma with malaria in Rio

TV presenter Charlie Webster is in an induced coma with malaria in a hospital in Rio. The 33-year-old, who recently completed a 3,000-mile charity cycle ride, is on life support after contracting a rare strain of the disease, her agent has confirmed.

Charlie appeared in good health when she arrived in Rio on 4 August, but became unwell after watching the Olympics opening ceremony one day later.


Charlie Webster is in an induced coma in Rio

She was rushed to hospital and was initially thought to be dehydrated after the gruelling six-week Ride to Rio challenge.

Having posted a number of photos and updates on social media throughout the cycle ride, Charlie took to Twitter the day after she was admitted to hospital, on 6 August, telling fans: “6 weeks on the road ends in this. Very rough day, severe dehydration & infection – 2 drips & antibiotics Rio."

On 8 August, she posted an update: "I'm getting there… awful few days with serious infection Rio." She also shared a photo showing her lying her hospital bed, but managing to smile, adding: "Looking forward to being a part of TeamGB here at Rio 2016." 

The TV presenter has contracted a rare strain of malaria

Since then, Charlie hasn't posted any more messages on social media – but a statement shared on her Facebook and Twitter accounts on 11 August provided some insight for her fans.

"Charlie has updated you all throughout her cycle and we know her silence was causing concern," it read. "On Saturday 6th August, 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 Ride to Rio left the UK on 27 June, with Charlie and her teammates cycling 90 miles a day with only one rest day each week before arriving at the Maracana Stadium on 4 August.

Just a few days earlier, she completed the 3,000-mile Ride to Rio challenge

It marked the 10th anniversary of a cycle ride undertaken by charity fundraiser Jane Tomlinson, who passed away from cancer in 2007 after raising almost £2million for good causes. Her widower Mike Tomlinson also took part in the challenge in her memory.

The Ride to Rio campaign have wished Charlie as speedy recovery on Twitter, describing her as a "tough lady".

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