England rugby hero Ben Cohen has faced three health struggles– and they almost took his life.
The 40-year-old World Cup winner was gang-tackled by a triple whammy of a deadly heart condition, blood poisoning – and glandular fever.
“I’ve never had a problem with dying,” he revealed to the Mirror.
“But when you’re being told if you hadn’t come to hospital you might not have made it through the weekend, you then realise you’re not invincible.”
His nightmare began in June 2017 with chest pains. His GP suspected a heart attack and he was rushed to A&E near his home in Northampton.
However, doctors diagnosed pericarditis, inflammation of the protective, fluid-filled sac around the heart.
“The pain was astronomical – it felt like someone was pulling my ribs through the back of my spine,” dad-of-three Ben recalls.
If that news wasn’t a big enough shock, Ben was then diagnosed with sepsis, a life-threatening blood poisoning that can lead to multiple organ failure.
And to cap it all, the medical staff also discovered he was suffering from glandular fever, which was potentially the cause of the other two conditions.
“The sepsis and pericarditis, although deadly, were quickly treated with five days of antibiotics,” says Ben.
“It was the glandular fever that was a nightmare. Kick me, poke me, break my bones and I’d be happy compared to glandular fever. It was brutal.”