When Grace Jones went to see her ‘childhood idols’ The Wiggles perform a special concert at Castle Hill RSL last week she had no idea she would end up stepping in to help save a life.
The 23-year-old nurse at Sydney’s Royal North Shore Hospital jumped at the chance to watch Murray Cook, Greg Page, Anthony Field, and Jeff Fatt perform a special show to raise funds for the ongoing bushfire crisis.
But the show didn’t go as planned when Yellow Wiggle Greg Page collapsed on stage and went into cardiac arrest.
Footage from the concert showed Greg thanking the 800-strong crowd before collapsing at the side of the stage, with a flurry of people rushing to Greg’s aid as the curtain was hastily drawn.
Amid the confusion, Red Wiggle Murray Cook addressed the audience, saying 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 said
That’s when Grace approached a security guard and asked if anyone required medical assistance. She was lead backstage where she saw drummer Steve Pace and crew member Kimmy Antonell performing CPR.
That’s when she said she “flicked a switch” and jumped into work mode.
“I went in and I just used all the knowledge that helped him, and saved him,” she told reporters on Saturday.
Grace used a defibrillator three times to shock Greg and was able to miraculously get his heart pumping again, continuing to work on him for 20 minutes until paramedics arrived.
“I didn’t go to the concert expecting to do that so it all feels a bit surreal,” she added.
Greg was rushed to hospital where he underwent a ‘procedure,’ his bandmates confirmed on social media later that evening.
Grace has since taken to her own Facebook page to reflect on the eventful evening and thank everyone for their kind words.
“I wish nothing but the best of recoveries for Greg and send my warmest thoughts to his family,” Grace wrote, sharing an image of herself receiving a grateful hug from the Red Wiggle Murray.
“Thankfully the CHRSL had the equipment ready to go that was needed to help with the happy ending! I am overwhelmed by the well wishes, messages and reaching out from people and I am still processing everything.
“Thank you to everyone that has reached out to me, I truly appreciate it,” she concluded.
Grace said she was thankful she had her nursing training and that there were other bystanders who knew how to perform CPR.
“If anything good has come from this other than Greg being ok, it is the raising of the awareness of the importance of CPR and defib operations,” she said.
The show must go on
An update was posted to The Wiggles’ official Twitter after bandmates visited Greg in hospital.
“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.
The following day, a teary Anthony - aka the Blue Wiggle - recalled moment Greg Page was 'gone'.
“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.
Greg Page’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.
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