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.’

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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.’

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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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