Sunday 21 October 2018

Charlie Webster shares coma photo two years after critical illness

The sports presenter spoke about her struggles with her health.

Charlie Webster has shared a photograph of herself in a coma (Ian West/PA)
Charlie Webster has shared a photograph of herself in a coma (Ian West/PA)

By Laura Harding, Press Association Senior Entertainment Correspondent

Sports presenter Charlie Webster has said she is “still surviving” as she shared a photograph of herself on life support two years after she was in a medically induced coma.

The TV star and Team GB ambassador, 35, contracted a rare form of malaria while in Rio for the 2016 Olympics after taking part in a 3,000-mile charity cycle ride to the Brazilian city.

She became unwell during the opening ceremony of the Games.

View this post on Instagram

2 years ago this was me... I was in a coma on life support. At this point I had less than 24 hours to live and the doctors thought it was unlikely I’d survive the night. They also told my mum I was most likely brain damaged. This time last year I was still struggling with my physical health and very much so my mental health. I could hear when I was in the coma, it was incredibly distressing, I was also told I was dying when I was still conscious. It was like torture trapped inside. Today feels weird, hard to describe, it floods back memories of the pain and also the heartbreak of my mum and brothers but I have a big smile on my face that I survived and I’m still surviving. We have been through crap as we all have - we can sit here though and say ‘I survived that’ I made a decision to make sure I learn from everything that has happened to me and be a better person for it. It may not seem it at the time but we are incredibly resilient and are blessed with an amazing spirit of fight and survival. All this crap that happens to us just makes us stronger, gives us a deeper understanding and empathy and more able to help others pull through bad times. Basically keep on going! You can do it! I know it’s easy to say but through deep pain we honestly learn so much about ourselves and how remarkable we as humans are. #teamcharlieunbreakable

A post shared by Charlie Webster (@charliewebster) on

She shared a photograph of herself lying in a hospital bed hooked up to monitors with tubes going in and out of her mouth, and wrote: “2 years ago this was me… I was in a coma on life support.

“I had less than 24 hours to live, it was unlikely I’d survive the night. They told my mum I was likely brain damaged.

“This time last year I was still struggling with my physical health & very much so my mental health.

“I could hear when I was in the coma, it was incredibly distressing, I was also told I was dying when I was still conscious. It was like torture trapped inside.”

She added: “Today feels weird, hard to describe, it floods back memories of the pain and also the heartbreak of my mum and brothers but I have a big smile on my face that I survived and I’m still surviving.

View this post on Instagram

It’s #WorldMalariaDay ... this is Jordan he managed to survive severe malaria but his sister Asha who was 9 did not. Since I met this wonderful family we’ve exchanged handwritten letters. It’s horrific that a child dies every 2 minutes of malaria but it’s also about what it can potentially do if you survive, I have a kidney problem, a girl in the same village got cerebral palsy from malaria, development problems are a big factor of severe malaria survival. It is also about making sure the next generation are healthy enough to get educated and go to school, ultimately impacting their ability to earn a living, make a change. Pregnant women and young children are most at risk, so are refugees, there are 65 million displaced people in the world right now. Ending malaria will help stop the cycle of poverty. #MalariaMustDie

A post shared by Charlie Webster (@charliewebster) on

“We have been through crap as we all have – we can sit here though and say ‘I survived that’ I made a decision to make sure I learn from everything that has happened to me and be a better person for it.

“It may not seem it at the time but we are incredibly resilient and are blessed with an amazing spirit of fight and survival.

“All this crap that happens to us just makes us stronger, gives us a deeper understanding and empathy and more able to help others pull through bad times.

“Basically keep on going! You can do it! I know it’s easy to say but through deep pain we honestly learn so much about ourselves and how remarkable we as humans are.”

Webster previously said she was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder due to experiencing the horrors of her life-threatening illness.

Now an ambassador for Malaria No More UK, she said her research and campaigning have helped her come to terms with what happened to her.

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