A teary Anthony Field - aka the Blue Wiggle - has recalled the terrifying moment his bandmate Greg Page collapsed on stage and went into cardiac arrest.
“He was gone. He came off stage and collapsed and there was no pulse, there was no breathing,” a visibly emotional Anthony told 7News outside Westmead Hospital on Saturday afternoon.
He thanked two of The Wiggles’ cast and crew - drummer Steve Pace and a woman named Kim - for administering CPR, as well as a nurse from the audience who used a defibrillator.
“They really brought Greg back,” he said, his eyes welling up.
Anthony provided an update on Greg, saying that he is ‘really good’ following a procedure to insert a stent which is a small tube that keeps blocked passageways such as arteries open.
“He’s talking, he wants the show to go on. He’s doing a lot better than I am, the guy’s amazing,” Anthony said.
He added that he, Jeff Fatt and Murray Cook would not have returned to play their final song, “Hot Potato,” if they had known Greg’s condition was so serious.
Earlier that morning, The Wiggles’ manager and Anthony’s brother Paul Field revealed more details about the heroic efforts Greg’s castmates went to in order to save his life.
“I got to see him about 3 am and I was much relieved because he was in such a serious way last night,” Paul told 7News outside Westmead Hospital.
“He needed CPR, we had two of our cast and crew working on him. They used a defibrillator on him three times, he was in a bad way,” he added.
“He stopped breathing a number of times, it was quite traumatic for everyone to witness it”.
Paul went on to name those two members of the cast and crew as the band’s drummer Steve and Kim, who works in the office.
“They saved his life,” he simply said.
“By the time I got to see him after [3 am] I was so relieved, the blood was back in his face, he was talking… quite groggy and he couldn’t remember much about it,” he added.
“The main thing for people to know is that he’s in good care and hopefully with the right treatment he will be fine,” he said.
Paul also said that the Wiggles’ second show that was scheduled to take place later that evening would only go ahead with Greg’s family’s consent.
The show must go on
A short while later, an update was posted to The Wiggles’ official Twitter account announcing that the second show was going ahead as planned, with a few tweaks.
“We’ve visited Greg this morning & he wanted to thank everyone for their well wishes,” the tweet read.
“He’s so grateful for the messages of love & support from around the world. Greg’s main concern was that the show tonight should go on. Let’s do it for Greg whilst raising much needed funds,” it said.
Less than 30 minutes after that, an updated set time was tweeted out along with news that new Yellow Wiggle, Emma Watkins, new Red Wiggle Simon Pryce and ‘a few Wiggly friends’ would be taking the stage in Greg’s absence.
“Tonight’s updates set times. The wonderful Emma Wiggle, Simon Wiggle and a few Wiggly friends and musicians will all be jumping in while Greg recovers, to make sure this is a great show,” the tweet stated.
Greg’s shock collapse
Greg Page suffered a cardiac arrest and collapsed on stage during Friday night’s bushfire relief concert in Sydney.
He was treated by medics on the scene before being rushed to hospital where he underwent a ‘procedure,’ according to tweets by the Aussie band’s official account.
“As has been reported, our friend Greg Page suffered a cardiac arrest at the end of the bushfire relief performance and was taken to hospital,” a tweet shared at 3.11 am on Saturday read.
As has been reported, our friend Greg Page suffered a cardiac arrest at the end of the bushfire relief performance and was taken to hospital. He has had a procedure and is now recovering in hospital. We appreciate your kind messages and concern.
— The Wiggles (@TheWiggles) January 17, 2020
“He has had a procedure and is now recovering in hospital. We appreciate your kind messages and concern”.
As reported by Sydney Morning Herald, a NSW Ambulance spokeswoman confirmed a 48-year-old man was taken from Castle Hill RSL to Westmead Hospital in a serious but stable condition on Friday night.
An earlier tweet posted at 11.20 pm informed fans of Greg’s shock health issue and promised to ‘provide more information as it comes to hand’.
“Update: 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. We will provide more information as it comes to hand”.
Update: 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. We will provide more information as it comes to hand.
— The Wiggles (@TheWiggles) January 17, 2020
‘Not feeling well’
The ‘medical incident’ occurred at the end of the group’s over-18’s only fundraiser performance at Castle Hill RSL, with footage showing Greg thanking the 800-strong crowd before collapsing at the side of the stage.
A flurry of people rushes across the stage to Greg’s aid as the curtain is hastily drawn.
Amid the confusion, Red Wiggle Murray Cook addresses the audience, saying that the band won’t be playing their final song, “Hot Potato”.
“Guys I think we're going to end it there. 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,” he says.
After ensuring Greg has received ‘medical attention,’ the three remaining Wiggles regroup to perform the song.
“We're going to sing it for Greg and hope he gets better real quick,” Blue Wiggle Anthony Field says.
Fears for Greg
Blue Wiggle Anthony Field took to Instagram to share a heartfelt message after the shocking incident.
Anthony shared a trio of photos featuring Greg and revealed that he and fellow Wiggles Jeff Fatt and Murray Cook are still ‘in shock’.
“Such a joy being together with my mates tonight. So sorry to see Greg so ill at the end of the show. We are all in shock, please get better mate, I’m praying for you,” he wrote.
Fans in Australia and around the globe have also taken to social media to share messages of support for Greg.
“All my love to Greg and his family. He was truly a champion tonight, powering through for those in need. We're all hoping and praying for his recovery!” wrote a concertgoer.
“Many prayers from South Carolina, USA. Our family has handed down The Wiggles since 2003. My brother’s children saw a Wiggles Concert 3 times. Now my wife 3 children and I have seen the Wiggles twice. We hope for a speedy recovery!!” an American fan wished.
One fan who also attended the concert shared a photo of an ambulance and stated that Greg was being ‘treated’.
“Greg will be okay. The ambos are here and treating him. Wish him well. Love you Greg!” they wrote.
— e z a (@erindelreyest) January 17, 2020
Greg’s health woes
Greg has long been open about his battle with orthostatic intolerance, a circulatory system disorder that affects blood flow and can cause sufferers to faint, become weak or, more seriously, experience heart issues.
The condition saw him retire from the group in 2006 after 15 years, with understudy Sam Moran pulling on the iconic yellow skivvy.
Wiggles reunion sells out
On January 6, the four original members of the Aussie children’s music group announced they would reunite for a very special, one-off bushfire fundraising concert with all proceeds going to the Australian Red Cross and WIRES.
Tickets to the show sold out within hours of going on sale at 10 am the following day. The band even added a second show to accommodate the demand, but it too sold out.
The reunion performance was the first time the four original Wiggles members - Greg, Anthony Field, Murray Cook and Jeff Fatt - had taken the stage together in eight years.
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