A popular sports reporter has woken from a coma in a Rio hospital after contracting a rare form of malaria on her way to the Olympic Games.
Former Sky Sports News anchor, Charlie Webster, first fell ill shortly after the Olympic opening ceremony, just days after completing a 39-day, cross-continental charity ride from London, reports The Guardian.
Doctors initially suspected the 33-year-old was suffering dehydration as a result of the gruelling 4800km journey. However, her condition rapidly deteriorated following complications from a bacterial infection.
Webster was brought out of a five-day medically induced coma overnight, and while doctors believe she has not suffered any brain damage, they say her kidneys are “still not responding to treatment and she remains on dialysis”, reports The Guardian.
In a statement quoted by The Guardian, Webster’s mother said it had been a frighteningly close call, but that her daughter was now fully conscious and communicating with family who had flown to her bedside.
“Charlotte knows she nearly died, she mouthed to me earlier ‘look at all the machines keeping me alive’. Charlotte is really strong but as the doctors keep reminding me, everyone heals differently. I am just so thankful that she’s able to communicate with us again.
“It’s been the worst imaginable time – we have been beside ourselves with worry, but the fact Charlotte is now conscious is amazing. Knowing Charlotte, the thing she’ll be most annoyed about is that she’s missed the Olympics.”
Just days before her condition worsened roughly a fortnight ago, Webster was tweeting photographs from her hospital bed, updating fans about her illness.
“I’m getting there…awful few days with serious infection #Rio,” she wrote on August 8.
Then later that night, “Looking forward to being a part of @TeamGB here at #Rio2016 #BringOnTheGreat”.
That Webster’s last personal Tweet.
Her team subsequently took over her account, and on Thursday posted tweets expressing gratitude for the outpouring of public support for the journalist.
One reads, “Thank you so much for all the love & support you have shown Charlie. We can’t wait for her to be able to read them herself. #TeamCharlie.”
Webster was due to attend the Olympics an official reporter for Team Great Britain, where she was contracted to work in conjunction with various broadcasters.