cheryl-coleThe ‘Fight for This Love’ singer was struck down with malaria earlier this month and has now paid tribute to the team of doctors and nurses who treated her, saying without them she might not be alive.

She told experts at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases at University College London: “I want to say how grateful I am for everything you guys have done. I wouldn’t be here now if it wasn’t for you.”

The pop star is now planning to make a donation to the NHS medical centre to show staff just how appreciative she is of their help.

An insider told the Daily Mirror newspaper: “It’s something she’s given serious thought to. She’s so grateful for their expertise and care. The situation was looking very bleak at one point.

“Her blood count was dangerously low, she had fluid on her lungs and she was jaundiced. But she was in the best possible place. The doctors there are first class and Cheryl knew afterwards she virtually owes her life to them.”

Cheryl, 27, has been holed up in her Surrey mansion for the past few weeks recovering, although she made her first trip out this week to a local Starbucks coffee shop.

Her rumoured boyfriend Derek Hough has been getting her back to full strength by cooking the petite star an array of tasty treats from his home country America, including his specialty macaroni and cheese.

A source told The Sun newspaper: “Derek’s been brilliant during her recovery. He’s been really hands on, treating her to his home cooking. His signature dish is mac n’ cheese, which has been the favourite in Cheryl’s home. Even mum Joan’s a fan.”

The pair arrived at Los Angeles International Airport last night (29.07.10), where the Girls Aloud star is believed to be continuing her recuperation before rejoining the judging panel on Simon Cowell’s pop star search ‘The X Factor’.

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