15. Charlie Webster; At Death’s Door in Rio, the Fight Against Malaria in Uganda and how the Spanish Lifestyle Might Extend Your Life - The Big Travel Podcast

Episode 15
April 30 , 2018

15. Charlie Webster; At Death’s Door in Rio, the Fight Against Malaria in Uganda and how the Spanish Lifestyle Might Extend Your Life

Sports presenter Charlie Webster arrived at our interview cut and bruised from a fall the previous day during the London Marathon…but this is nothing compared to the 3000 mile cycle from London to Rio which ended in her being in a coma and given 24 hours to live. As a sports presenter she’s worked all over the world – starting off at Real Madrid TV and then at ESPN in Singapore – and has the most incredible, irresistible energy. She now works tirelessly to help other people going through what she went through, I know you’re going to love her.

On this episode we cover: 


Limping and bruised after the London Marathon

Having a fight with a pavement

The journey that nearly killed her

Ending up in a coma in a hospital in Rio

Being given 24 hours to live  

London 2012

Rio 2016

Cycling across Europe

Cycling across Brazil

Almost falling asleep at 27 mph on a bike

Pushing herself

Having to adjust to life-long after effects of her illness

The difficulty of language barrier issues in intensive care

Using Google translate to communicate to doctors

Extreme pain

Being told she was dying

Her mum being told she was dying

Her mum’s and brother’s voices pulling her through

Being ‘aggressively resuscitated’

Mental battles and survivors guilt

Meeting the parents of children who died

Being desperate to fight

Loving travel and adventure

Losing her identity


Having to fight every day

The gift of survival

Being diagnosed at the last minute

Fighting malaria

The unknown risk of malaria in Brazil

How climate change and population displacement spread disease

Travelling to Uganda

How she loves the people and culture in Uganda

Travelling to remote villages in Uganda

Writing letters to the community leaders

Severe poverty in Uganda

The little girl who lost her life to malaria

How Ugandans are learning about fighting malaria

How to prevent Malaria

The Commonwealth Summit

Bed nets with no beds

Running the London Marathon for malaria charity

Struggling with the marathon

Her working class background

Fantasizing about the wonders of Spain

Real Madrid TV

Moving to Madrid

Burning the candle at both ends in Madrid

How the Spanish cope (or don’t!) with the late nights

Loving Spanish food

Loving all food!

Loving the community spirit

How friends and family contact helps you live longer

Real Madrid Galacticos

Hanging out with David Beckham, Raul, Ronaldo, Zinedine Zidane

Travelling with the football team

Training in Austria

Lacking confidence as a child

Being the first person in the family to go to university

Doubting herself at the Real Madrid TV interview

Growing up in Sheffield

Sheffield’s cultural heritage

Unemployment and deprivation in Sheffield

Being proud of her northern grit

Being born a fighter

Not feeling that she had a voice at school

Being the kids from the rougher areas

Her teen-mum mother

Moving to Asia after Madrid

Working at ESPN in Singapore

Being the first female sports presenter

Being bullied at work

Crying in her hotel room

Loving travelling all over Asia

Being brought up on football

Going to Thailand with the Thai FA

Going to Indonesia

Sheffield United

Asia’s love of Manchester United and Victoria

Taxi driver’s knowledge of Sheffield Wednesday

Loving Asian food

Recommending Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur

Being fascinated by Cambodia

The Cambodian genocide

Loving Bangkok

Thailand closing Maya Bay beach to tourism

The negative side of tourism

Loving how travel makes her learn and grow

The wonders of Columbia

Colombia’s coffee plantations rainforest, seeing indigenous tribes, Bogota, Medellin and much more.  

Having no good memories of Rio

Her incredible trip to Israel

Tel Aviv’s nightlife

Jerusalem’s amazing nightlife

The locals bar in Jerusalem where she was in her element

Sunrise at the Wailing Wall