Charlie Webster: Rio doctors told me ‘You are dying. Get hold of your family’

Former Sky and ITV sports presenter Charlie Webster recounts the moment Rio doctors told her she was dying how she initially accepted that was her fate...

Charlie Webster has told how she had a conversation with ‘Death’ after contracting a rare form of malaria in Brazil.

The 33-year-old TV presenter told The Sun that she is still traumatised by her ordeal, when she was placed in a medically induced coma as doctors struggled to work out what caused her vital organs to collapse.

Charlie fell ill during the opening ceremony of the Rio Olympics and admitted herself to hospital thinking that she was dehydrated.

But after her condition rapidly deteriorated, a doctor told the Team GB ambassador: “We need you to know that you are dying. Get hold of your family.”

Charlie said: “I remember having a conversation with Death and whether I was going to live or not …

“We were just an energy. Death said to me, ‘Come on, you’ve got to go’. I actually said Yes to start with – like I’m happy to die because I just couldn’t do it any more…

“I feel awful as I wanted to die and remember being happy with what I’ve done with my life… But within a second of saying that I thought ‘No’. And I remember shouting ‘No, no, no!’”

Charlie, who became ill after completing a 3,000-mile charity cycle ride from London to Rio, said that she had no words to describe how much pain she was in.

She said that she remembered making a promise to her mother, who ‘had a feeling that something was going to go wrong before the race’, that she would not leave her.

The former Sky and ITV sports presenter was flown back to the UK at the end of August, still in a serious condition, to be treated at St James’s Hospital in Leeds.

Charlie Webster and Allen Leech
Charlie Webster and Allen Leech (Dominic Lipinski/PA)


Charlie, who previously dated Downton Abbey actor Allen Leech, aims to return to presenting by the end of the year.

She said that she had 12 injections before her cycling trip but was told by two different doctors that she did not need one for malaria.