Daniel Sturridge has revealed the agony of meningitis left him struggling even to walk as he thanked Chelsea's doctors for rescuing his Olympic dream.
Sturridge admitted he came within a whisker of being forced to pull out of Great Britain's historic squad for the London Games after being hit by the killer bug three weeks ago.
The striker, 22, made a remarkable recovery, playing 45 minutes for Team's GB's friendly against Brazil on Friday night.
Sturridge, who hopes to be part of Britain's first Olympic campaign since 1960, said: "I just remember going along to a school one Thursday, handing out medals to kids, and I think I must have caught the bug there. I felt absolutely fine before that.
"I would not wish what I have had on my worst enemy.
"It is a really difficult thing to get through and, without the help of the Chelsea doctor, my family and my girlfriend, it would have been even more difficult. I was fortunate enough to have a doctor who saw the warning signs straight away and got me off to a hospital bed immediately.
"I was quarantined for five days and if I hadn't taken any antibiotics in the hospital, I wouldn't have had a chance of taking part in the Olympics.
"I am not going to say I would have died but I don't think I would have recovered as quickly as I have done and been here today.
"I went from being in tip-top condition suddenly to being sick and feeling weak. It was even difficult for me to walk.
"I thought that all my hopes and dreams of taking part in the Olympics were over."
- More about:
- Kensington And Chelsea
- Olympic Stadium