Fern Britton has opened up about being near to death after developing sepsis last summer.
The former This Morning presenter said she was “fighting for my life”, but a doctor stepped in to get her the help she needed.
Fern, 59, had a hysterectomy in July 2016 after having fibroids, and the operation went well.
But three days later, she began to experience pain she had never felt before, and husband Phil Vickery rushed to ring the hospital at 3am.
Talking to Prima, she said: “They suggested paracetamol and a wait-and-see approach, but by the next day the pain had intensified so much that I could barely walk.
“When the ambulance crew arrived, I was being sick and thought, ‘Oh, I feel better now!’ So when they offered to take me to hospital, I refused.
“That was quite a bad decision. By the next day, I was shivering and my muscles and joints were hurting.”
At home, her symptoms became a lot worse, but her GP was too busy to go and see her.
Phil, at that point, was worried sick, so he rang the surgery again to urge somebody to help. The receptionist thankfully realised the seriousness of Fern’s condition and got the help that she needed.
“She overrode everyone to send an ambulance”, Fern said, adding: “It’s no exaggeration to say that I owe her my life.”
Fern had emergency surgery, in which doctors discovered abscesses in her stomach, as well as E.Coli in her blood.
A panicked Fern was convinced that she wouldn’t make it through the operation, and gave her wedding ring to her daughter.
“On the night of the procedure, I was resigned to dying… The theatre nurse offered to put a plaster over my wedding ring. Instead, I took off my ring and gave it to my daughter, who was with me,” said the mum-of-four.
“I hated the thought of them taking it from my dead body to give to her.”
After the operation, she got pneumonia and a lung collapsed, but she pulled through and is now a a huge supporter of The Sepsis Trust.