Peter Jones health: ‘I thought I was going to die’ Dragons’ Den star’s ‘worst illness’

Peter Jones, 53, is well known for his confident character in the boardroom on BBC’s Dragons’ Den. But in 2007, the businessman was struck down by a serious illness that for some people can result in serious health complications. In a Q&A with Mail Online, the star revealed the illness he had that year was pneumonia. In 2010 he said it was the “worst illness” he’d ever had.

Three years ago I had pneumonia. I had been working too hard and got a bit run-down

Peter Jones

Peter divulged: “Three years ago I had pneumonia. I had been working too hard and got a bit run-down.

“I got very, very wheezy and had trouble breathing – so much so that I thought I was going to die.

“I was put on a course of antibiotics.”

For less serious illnesses, like the common cold, or for when he’s not “feeling brilliant”, Peter also revealed he’s a fan of supplements.

He said: “When I’m not feeling brilliant, I take a Berocca – a vitamin C tablet – and multivitamins, which I’m taking at the moment as I feel a bit coldy.”

The entrepreneur did also reveal another element of his health – that when he was younger he had his appendix removed.

He added: “I had my appendix removed in my 20s.

“It was all over quite quickly, and without much drama.”

What is pneumonia?

Pneumonia is swelling of the tissue in one or both lungs and is usually caused by a bacterial infection, says the NHS.

It explains: “At the end of the breathing tubes in your lungs are clusters of tiny air sacs.

“If you have pneumonia, these tiny sacs become inflamed and fill up with fluid.”

The health body lists the symptoms of the condition to look out for:

  • A cough – which may be dry, or produce thick yellow, green, brown or blood-stained mucus (phlegm)
  • Difficulty breathing – your breathing may be rapid and shallow, and you may feel breathless, even when resting
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • High temperature
  • Feeling generally unwell
  • Sweating and shivering
  • Loss of appetite
  • Chest pain – which gets worse when breathing or coughing

Less common symptoms include:

  • Coughing up blood (haemoptysis)
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Feeling sick or being sick
  • Wheezing
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Feeling confused and disorientated, particularly in elderly people

If you feel unwell and have these symptoms you should see your GP.

You should seek urgent medical attention if you experience severe symptoms.

Another Dragons’ Den star, Theo Paphitis, grappled with a horrendous infection which made him think he was dying.

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