I'm A Celebrity star Nathan Buckley's scary collapse: 'Get a medic'

·Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
·4-min read

There was drama in the jungle when AFL legend and I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! star Nathan Buckley suddenly collapsed on set, sending his fellow campmates into a panic.

The shocking incident was captured in Thursday night's episode, showing the former Collingwood coach pass out unexpectedly while walking just outside camp with Poh Ling Yeow and Maria Thattil.

I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! star Nathan Buckley collapses on set as his co-stars Poh Ling Yeow and Maria Thattil attempt to revive him. Photo: Channel 10.
I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! star Nathan Buckley collapsed suddenly leaving co-stars Poh Ling Yeow and Maria Thattil in a panic. Photo: Channel 10.

Camper collapses

Nathan, 49, was leading the way before turning pale and abruptly falling to the ground, prompting MasterChef star Poh and Miss Universe Australia 2020 Maria to rush to his side and start shouting for help.

"Can we please get a medic, guys!" a clearly rattled Maria, 28, screams. "Oh my god, he's just fainted. Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god!"

A team of medics and security staff quickly appeared and began assessing Nathan's unconscious form.

"Front gate, front gate," a medic is heard saying over radio. "Tell them it's urgent."

After coming to, Nathan appeared a little bit dazed and couldn't remember what had happened, asking, "Did I collapse?"

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I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! star Nathan Buckley is assisted by medics after collapsing on set. Photo: Channel 10.
The AFL legend was assisted by medics after passing out. Photo: Channel 10.

'White as a ghost'

A medic who was taking his blood pressure informed him that his heart rate was "a bit slower" at about 44 beats per minute. The normal resting heart rate for adults is between 60 and 100 bpm, however, for highly trained athletes it can be lower than 60.

Nathan was escorted to the medical hut and meanwhile, back with the other celebrities a shaken Poh and Maria recalled the terror of watching his 6ft 1in frame slump to the earth.

"He hit his head on a log, like he collapsed. For a minute I thought he was having a heart attack because his eyes kind of rolled over," Poh, 49, said.

"It was just scary, like he went white as a ghost," a teary Maria added.

As the campmates eagerly waited for word on Nathan's condition, they spoke about how 'upsetting' it was to see the father figure of the group like that.

"He's just so tough and he's always looking after all of us. It's really upsetting to see him like that," Maria said.

Thankfully, as hosts Dr Chris Brown and Julia Morris informed viewers, Nathan made a quick recovery and returned to the camp to much fanfare shortly thereafter.

I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! star Nathan Buckley hugs co-star Poh Ling Yeow. Photo: Channel 10.
He was welcomed back to camp by his fellow celebs. Photo: Channel 10.

He explained that he'd been experiencing painful stomach cramps which, coupled with low blood sugar and low heart rate, had seen him hit the deck.

"It's low blood sugar which is standard for me, low heart rate which is standard for me, when I get a little bit of lightheadedness when I get up quickly even in my normal life. And then because I got cramps, that brings your heart rate down again and it gets to a point where you just go under the threshold," he said.

'That was triggering'

After the episode went to air, Maria took to Instagram to offer more insight into why the incident affected her so much, revealing that her own father has 'underlying health conditions'.

She explained that, even though the celebs had only been together in the camp for four days, they'd already grown incredibly close.

"No footage can convey how intense and real our emotions were. What we feel for each other is real," she wrote.

"Time and social interactions are experienced differently in this environment. Seeing @bucksinthejungle go down like that was triggering for many of us for various personal reasons. For me, he had a fatherly, tough, nurturing energy, I grew to love him and it was terrifying to see him unwell.

"It also made me think of my own Dad who has underlying health conditions. The experience shook us all, but also bonded us VERY fast. Glad the big fella was back in no time at all… but still spewing he didn’t bring us jelly beans."

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