Daniel Sturridge has revealed the agony of meningitis left him struggling even to walk as the footballer 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.
However, the striker made a remarkable recovery, playing 45 minutes for Team's GB's friendly against Brazil on Friday night.
Speaking after the game at the Riverside Stadium, Sturridge 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."
Sturridge made 45 appearances for Chelsea in all competitions last season, scoring 13 goals in a campaign which saw Roberto Di Matteo's side finish sixth in the Premier League, while winning the FA Cup and Champions League.
After a season of unrivaled success, the 22-year-old hopes to take that momentum into the London Olympics, and is grateful he will have the opportunity to do so with Team GB this summer.
"I was fortunate enough to have a doctor who saw the warning signs straight away and got me off to a hospital bed immediately," he added.
"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 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."
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