Cheryl Cole On Malaria battle: ‘I Was Relieved To Be Dying’

Singer says she thought doctors were trying to kill her, as they fought to save her life

Cheryl Cole has revealed she felt ‘relieved’ when a nurse told her death was a ‘possibility’ as she battled Malaria in 2010.

In her new autobiography, Cheryl: My Story, the singer says she was so delirious during her life-threatening ordeal that she bcame convinced staff were trying to kill her.

Speaking of her terrifying experience, the 29-year-old writes: ‘It’s more than two years since I had malaria — and now I feel sure I had it for a reason.

‘It’s almost as if it was God’s way of forcing me to stop and get off the roller coaster ride my life had become. It made me take a good look at myself — and that’s what I’ve done.’


Cheryl also recalls how it brought her closer to US dancer Derek Hough, who accompanied her on the ill-fated trip, and who stayed at her bedside during the ordeal.

‘For four days Derek and I had been on safari to Tanzania in June, 2010. We had 5am starts, heading out with binoculars in a rickety jeep.

‘We weren’t disappointed — we got to see lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants, buffalo, giraffes, and impalas. Derek had suggested it as we were animal-lovers.

‘Normally I wasn’t this spontaneous but my whole world had been turned upside down and it felt like all the rules had changed. I had no husband, no responsibilities, so why shouldn’t I?

‘On the last day we got a rusty, smelly old plane to take us to Nairobi. From there we booked a BA flight to Heathrow, which would get in at 7am, in time for me to judge the X Factor auditions.

‘There was no airport lounge and we sat on these plastic chairs for three hours waiting for the flight.

‘When we finally took off I noticed three mosquito bites — two on my foot and one on my face. All of them were really painful.’


Follwing her return to the UK, Cheryl was quickly taken ill and rushed to hospital for treatment, where a doctor told her: “This is serious, and I mean serious.”

The Girls Aloud star continues: ‘I remember waking up in the Cromwell Hospital, delirious. That was when I started accusing the doctors of trying to kill me.

‘They had been trying to take my blood again as soon as I arrived.

‘They were also covering my body in freezing, wet towels to try and lower my temperature, but I flung these back at them. First they were struggling to find a vein, then there was blood pumping out of my wrist.

‘My face was so puffy my eyes were like slits, and I was so swollen I looked nine months pregnant.

‘A guy held an oxygen mask on my face, but I said: “I know what you’re doing. You’re all trying to kill me. Don’t think I’m stupid.”

‘Both lungs were filled with fluid, my liver three times normal size and I was five minutes from needing life-long kidney dialysis. I didn’t know that then, thank God.

‘They put a catheter on me and I heard someone say: “If she doesn’t get rid of some of this fluid in the next 24 hours, we’ve lost her.”

‘I heard my mam’s voice, and then somebody told her: “She may have left it too late.”

‘“She’ll be fine,” my mam replied calmly. “Cheryl’s a fighter.”’

Cheryl: My Story is due for release on 11th October.



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