The former ‘This Morning’ presenter underwent a successful hysterectomy last summer, but became seriously ill after returning home.
Days later she was admitted to hospital where doctors diagnosed her with an E.coli infection and several abscesses. Fern then contracted pneumonia which led to a collapsed lung and sepsis - or blood poisoning.
Speaking to Prima magazine Fern said: “This time last year, I was fighting for my life.
“I’d gone into hospital on July 13 for a routine hysterectomy – which I had needed to deal with long-standing fibroids – four days before my birthday.”
The 59-year-old explained that after returning home she was forced to call emergency services after suffering acute pain that left her barely able to walk.
She recalled: “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.”
“By now, the pain was so acute that I was having muscle contractions in my abdomen.
“In desperation, [husband] Phil [Vickery] rang the doctor’s receptionist and she overrode everyone to send an ambulance.
“It’s no exaggeration to say that I owe her my life.”
After being admitted to hospital, Fern underwent emergency surgery to deal with the E.coli infection and abscesses.
The presenter revealed it was at this point that she believed she was going to die.
“On the night of the procedure, I was resigned to dying… The theatre nurse offered to put a plaster over my wedding ring,” she explained.
“Instead, I took off my ring and gave it to my daughter, who was with me.
“I hated the thought of them taking it from my dead body to give to her. So, I said, “You look after it for me”.
“I survived, but the battle wasn’t over... A day or so later, I developed pneumonia and my lung collapsed.
“But I pulled through, thanks to the incredible NHS team who looked after me beyond anything I could have hoped for.”
Fern, who hopes to raise awareness of sepsis, is now fully recovered and back on our TV screens fronting ITV’s new daytime cooking competition, ‘Culinary Genius’, alongside her chef husband Phil Vickery.
Fern recently told HuffPost UK that she was loving being back on set with her hubby, revealing it felt like having a date.
She said: “I love it. Obviously we are at home together all the time when we’re not made up and looking as good as one can, but it’s been like having a date with each other. He’s being nice to me and being charming and I think, ‘ooh, flirty boy’, so I like that.”