08/05/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

BBC Presenter Kate Silverton Narrates Near-Death Experience: "I Felt As Though I Would Drown Alive"

On an otherwise perfect June afternoon during Royal Ascot this year, I had been presenting for the BBC as well as socialising with friends.

I'd had a wonderful day. I'd had a little champagne, the weather was good and I'd even managed to pick a winner in Lush Lashes!

Towards the end of the day I went back to the trainers' enclosure for a picnic with my friends. I ate a delicious prawn salad before we made our way to our car to head home to London.

As I walked I started to cough: a tickle-like cough in the back of my throat. I asked my friends if they could sense anything acrid in the air and whether anyone else was affected.

They said: 'No, but perhaps the pollen count is high.' I am not usually sensitive to pollen so it seemed strange.

My eyes began to water and I bent over as the coughing fit took hold. I wiped my eyes and was aware I must be suffering from some form of allergic reaction. I thought I should try to obtain an antihistamine tablet.

There was a pharmacy across the road, but it was closed. I started to panic then as I could feel my tongue swelling rapidly.

A policeman was standing across the street and I stumbled towards him.

My friends told me to keep calm but by this stage I knew something was seriously wrong. My throat was constricting and I began gasping for air.

I looked for somewhere to sit away from the main road and I staggered down an alleyway, a sense of impending doom descending on me. I felt as though I would drown alive.

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