25/09/2020

Yellow Wiggle Greg Page in hospital after collapsing at bushfire concert

Blue Wiggle Anthony Field has described his relief and gratitude at the actions of three people who helped save the life of fellow bandmate Greg Page after he went into cardiac arrest.Page, the original Yellow Wiggle, collapsed as he walked offstage at the Castle Hill RSL in Sydney after the band’s reunion show to raise money for bushfire relief funds.
“He was gone really,” Field told reporters today. “He came off stage and there was no pulse, there was no breathing.”
Field became emotional as he recalled last night’s events, saying the drummer and a woman who works with the band, gave Field CPR, while a nurse in the audience used a defibrillator on him.
“They really brought Greg back,” Field said.
He said Page was doing “really good” and a stent had been inserted in his body.
“He’s talking, he wants the show to go on.
“He’s doing a lot better than I am at the moment,” Field joked.
“The guy’s amazing, he’s just a positive man.”
Page is surrounded by his family and has received messages from people all around the world.
“It is frightening to see a friend really in a bad way like that and I’m just glad that the guys could bring him back,” Field said.
A woman who attended the concert last night told news.com.au that it took a while for the audience to realise Greg was actually really sick.
“It was right at the end of the show, they were saying their goodbyes. And I think because there was so much happening, people didn’t realise that Greg exited the stage pretty much immediately,” she said.
“I did notice that Greg wasn’t on stage, but then we saw one of the crew members holding the curtain to cover him and sort of, frantically running up and down the stage. And we just thought, ‘They’re closing the curtains, that’s it, the show’s over.’”
“And then the crowd started saying, ‘One more song!’ And we all thought they were going to come back out and it took quite a while for them to come back out. And then Murray came out and said, ‘Greg’s not well.’ And we all thought they were just joking.”
She said they closed the curtains completely but did end up doing one last song.
“In their faces, you could just tell they were trying to hurry and up and get it done so they could go back to Greg,” she said.
“We just thought because it was so hot in there, he might have been dehydrated. Because they didn’t have many breaks throughout the show.
“Even Nathan, the guy who came on before them, he started sweating on stage within one minute of being on stage. So we knew it was really hot up there for them and thought the heat got to him.”
“Even when I saw him on stage, I thought ‘Wow, he looks really thin.’ Because I knew about his health condition from before. But he was so energetic and he was amazing on stage and I think right at the end, that was when it really got to him.”
“We were just looking at each other like, ‘Nah, it’s just a joke.’
“And then when everyone realised it was something serious, everyone just kept saying, ‘We love you Greg!’ So there was just really positive messages from the crowd.”
Speaking to 7 News earlier, The Wiggles’ manager Paul Field, who is the brother of Anthony Field, detailed how the devastating event had unfolded.
“He was in such a serious way last night, he needed CPR … we had two of our cast and crew working on him, they used the defibrillator on him three times – he was in a bad way,” Field said.
“Everything seems like it’s taking forever when you’re waiting for an (ambulance). A nurse from the audience came up and kind of took charge, but two of our cast – Steve the drummer and Kim who works in our office – did CPR on him, they saved his life. Seriously.
“He stopped breathing a number of times. It was quite dramatic for everyone around to witness it. We’re all a bit shocked.”
According to Field, Page was “groggy” when he woke up hours later in hospital and “couldn’t remember much” about what had happened.
“He said to me, ‘did I finish the show?’ and I said, ‘yes, mate, you finished the show – bit of a melodramatic exit, but you did finish the show’.”
A photo of Page in hospital giving the “thumbs up” was shared to the band’s official Facebook page early Saturday afternoon, along with a message announcing that tonight’s sold-out show would go ahead without him.
In the early hours of this morning, the band provided an update to fans on their official Twitter page, shortly after the horrifying moment unfolded.
“At the end of the show this evening there was a medical incident off stage involving Greg Page. Medics were called immediately and he was taken to hospital where he is receiving treatment,” they tweeted.
Later, they issued an update, confirming Greg had “suffered a cardiac arrest at the end of the bushfire relief performance” and had been rushed to hospital.
“He has had a procedure and is now recovering in hospital. We appreciate your kind messages and concern.”
Witnesses to the drama also took to social media to share footage of emergency services arriving.
The original members of the children’s group reunited to perform a sold-out concert in Sydney on Friday night to help raise money for the Australian Red Cross and WIRES.
But at the end of the show, Page collapsed as he walked offstage.
“Thanks for coming to support all those wonderful people doing all that great work for everyone,” he said, out of breath.
He then fell to his knees just before disappearing behind a side stage curtain.
“Guys, I think we’re going to end it there,” Red Wiggle Murray Cook then informed the cheering crowd.
“Greg’s not feeling real well. I think he’s going to be OK but he’s not feeling real well so I don’t think we can go on with another song.”
A NSW Ambulance spokesperson said paramedics were called to the RSL around 10pm following reports a 48-year-old man had gone into cardiac arrest, according to reports.
The other band members then returned to the stage without Page to sing Hot Potato.
“We’re going to sing it for Greg and hope he gets better real quick,” Blue Wiggle Anthony Field said.
Page has suffered from fainting spells and chronic fatigue in the past, and hung up his yellow skivvy in 2006 after being diagnosed with a condition called orthostatic intolerance.
The condition left him unable to perform and walking with the aid of cane, though he went on to briefly return to the group a few years later.
Friday’s concert, which was being live-streamed online, was the first time the band’s founding members had played together since 2012.
Fans said Page had been “a champion” for powering through the show for those in need.
The group is scheduled to perform another show at Castle Hill RSL on Saturday night.