Cheryl Cole ‘literally at death’s door’ from malaria
Two month recovery time means Cole’s album is cancelled and X Factor job in doubt
Pop star and X Factor judge Cheryl Cole almost died of malaria, it has emerged, as the true severity of her brush with the deadly tropical disease and its consequences for her career start to become clear.
Cole was moved from the tropical diseases unit of University College Hospital, London, on Friday to a private clinic. But a "close friend"
has told the News of the World that she was "literally only hours from death's door".
"Even now she can't talk. She drifts in and out of consciousness and when she comes round all she can do is sob," says the source.
"The fact she's been on oxygen for six days now, and is still on a drip, shows how severe things are. She has fluid on her lungs as well which they can't really treat at the moment because her blood count's so low."
Cole is thought to have caught malaria while on holiday in Tanzania with her friend Derek Hough three weeks ago.
The NHS says that most cases of malaria in British travellers are down to a failure to take any malaria tablets or not taking the right tablets for the part of the world they visit. But some in the press are using her illness as a stick to beat her estranged husband Ashley Cole, who is currently something of a tabloid villain.
The News of the World says "friends" blame Ashley, who Cheryl is currently divorcing, for causing the stress that they claim made her easy prey to malaria.
Meanwhile a "friend" of Ashley told the News of the World that the footballer, who is on a "playboy holiday" with friends, was "through with feeling guilty and sad".
Cheryl is likely to be out of hospital within a fortnight, but she faces a two month recovery. The Girls Aloud singer's new album and an appearance at the V Festival next month have already been cancelled. She will also be unable to take part in all of the new series of The X Factor: plans are afoot to find a temporary replacement for her – possibly her Girls Aloud bandmate Kimberley Walsh or Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger. ·
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