Cheryl Cole has revealed that she was minutes away from needing “lifelong kidney dialysis” after contracting malaria while on holiday in South Africa in 2010.

The Fight For This Love singer was terrifyingly close to death in June 2010 when she was diagnosed with the deadly disease, after returning from a winter holiday in Tanzania.

In her new book, Cheryl: My Story, which has been serialised in The Sun newspaper, Cheryl reveals just how ill she actually was.

She writes: "I remember waking up in the Cromwell Hospital, delirious. That was when I started accusing the doctors of trying to kill me. They were... covering my body in freezing, wet towels to try and lower my temperature, but I flung these back at them...

"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 was three times normal size and I was five minutes from needing life-long kidney dialysis. 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.'"

The Girls Aloud star was later moved to London's Hospital for Tropical Diseases, where admits she prayed for death as she was too exhausted to carry on suffering.

Cheryl recalls: "I can clearly remember asking the nurse if I was dying - and feeling relieved when she said, 'It's a possibility.' 'Make this end,' I thought. I just had nothing left... I was so over it by now - too tired to take any more."