Strictly’s Kristina Rihanoff opens up about Ben Cohen’s horrific near-death experience

It happened a few months ago

Former Strictly star Kristina Rihanoff has revealed that her partner Ben Cohen nearly died earlier this year, when she spoke on Lorraine this morning.

Kristina, 40, said that after contracting glandular fever Ben was left ‘days from death’.

In July he complained of severe chest pains and was rushed to hospital.

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On today’s Lorraine she opened up to the host saying: “It’s been terrible.

“He was getting really, really bad, day after day and at some point he said, ‘I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe’.

“‘I feel like something is going on with my heart’ and he got to the doctors and the doctors got him to A&E right away and they said if hadn’t come on time basically he would have been really, really bad.”

She continued: “It took him a long time to recover and affected his emotional state, he was weak for a couple of months and not himself, I was really worried.”

Ben, 39, was diagnosed with glandular fever, pericarditis and sepsis and could have died if he didn’t get treatment when he did.

Kristina revealed: “Glandular fever affects the emotional system too. He couldn’t do much, couldn’t work out, he wasn’t himself.”

The couple share a one-year-old daughter, and although he was normally an “incredible hands-on dad” Kristina had to take on more of the childcare duties.

She said: “It’s difficult when one parent is ill, Ben is such a hands-on dad, he’s incredible.”

To help him recover, Kristina said he has become vegan to see if it helps.

She admitted: “We decided to go vegan, he needs to cleanse his diet. After a month on it, he feels so good after three days he went straight in the gym.”

Ben recently told OK! Magazine he could “barely walk” after he was struck down with the illnesses.

He revealed: “I hadn’t been feeling right for a few days – I had a sore throat and swollen glands and I was so lethargic that I could barely walk.

“One morning I woke up with a tight chest and I knew something wasn’t right, so I took myself off to the doctor.

“Within 15 minutes of getting there they had worked out something was seriously wrong and put me in an ambulance.

“At the hospital I had an ACG and irregularities in my heart were spotted.

“After a few more tests they diagnosed me with glandular fever and pericarditis, which is a swelling of the fluid back around your heart.”

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He continued: “They told me if I hadn’t gone into hospital when I did I would have been dead within a few days because it was causing an infection in my blood stream.

“The doctors put me on a saline drip to flush my system, then gave me strong antibiotics to fight the infection. It was very easy to treat once they knew what was wrong.”

Kristina and Ben met on Strictly in 2013, and he has two other children with his ex wife.