- Publish Date
- Friday, 20 October 2023, 3:13PM
Original Wiggle Greg Page collapsed on stage due to a heart attack during a reunion show in 2020 - and survived thanks to life-saving CPR.
Now in a new documentary about the Wiggles, Page and his co-stars have recalled what it was like being on stage in that moment.
Emma Watkins, who first joined the group in 2012 and replaced Page as the Yellow Wiggle, said she instantly knew something was wrong after noticing Page was struggling on stage.
“Being there onstage I could see Greg and he was signalling me to stand in. Almost like he knows something is about to happen,” she recalled.
Fellow Wiggle Anthony Field then watched on in horror as Page fell on to the stage.
“He kind of fell down … he didn’t look well. I just thought he’d overdone it. I was aware Greg used to pass out quick often,” Field said.
In an exclusive interview with Canvas last weekend, Field opened up about his own health battles, telling Greg Bruce that he had battled meningitis, Lyme disease and depression.
Page first left the Wiggles in 2006 due to his health and returned for a brief time in 2012. When he quit the group, he revealed that he had orthostatic intolerance, causing problems with his heart. It left him walking with a cane and unable to perform on stage.
At the time, Page’s fellow Wiggles weren’t sure just how serious the collapse was.
Field admitted he first thought Page was having “some kind of fit”.
“By the time [first aid] had got to Greg, he’d stopped breathing. I remember the colour had run from his face … I thought he was dead,” he shared.
Former Red Wiggle Murray Cook said the collapse was “distressing” for everyone looking on.
“I could see Anthony start to have a panic attack. There was a nurse in the audience and she came up on stage,” he said.
Shortly after the nurse stepped in, an ambulance was called and Page was taken to hospital.
Page himself recalled waking up for the first time since his collapse.
“I woke up in hospital, and Vanessa [a former Wiggles dancer] said to me: ‘You’re having a massive heart attack’.
“I remember thinking: ‘What do you mean having?’. Because even though they’d resuscitated me, I still had a blockage and my heart was under attack,” he explained.
It wasn’t until a nurse spoke with him that he realised how lucky he was to have survived.
“After the procedure the nurse told me I was a very lucky man. Because only ten per cent of people survive what I’d just been through.”
Paramedics revealed shortly afterwards that Page might not have survived the trip to hospital if CPR had not been done at the show.
Cook went on to say that it was one of the hardest things the group had ever been through together.
“It was incredibly harrowing for him and his family ... but also incredibly harrowing for us,” he revealed.
Page, whose health has since improved, shared his gratitude for the support from his Australian fans and those further afield.
Asked for a word to summarise the experience, he said, “I think the only word I could use is impact.
“To see however many people left me messages about that one event. This is quite emotional to think about. The whole cycle of the Wiggles and the relationship with our audience.”
This article was first published by the NZ Herald and is republished here with permission.
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