The Wiggles’ Murray Cook has described the moment bandmember Greg Page suffered a heart attack and went into cardiac arrest during the group’s bushfire relief concert last week.
- Murray Cook first thought Greg Page was laying on the ground to catch his breath
- The performer was given CPR and a defibrillator was used on him in front of thousands
- Cook also spoke of the nurse who helped Page, saying “she was so assured and she knew what she was doing”
Page was seen falling to the ground as he walked off stage at the Sydney reunion concert with original Wiggles bandmates Cook, Anthony Field and Jeff Fatt for bushfire aid on Friday night.
Cook praised nurse Grace Jones, who helped perform CPR on Page before using a defibrillator in front of a crowd of hundreds, along with thousands more watching via live stream.
“He’s doing really well. I saw him yesterday morning and he was sitting in a chair, he was joking as he is wont to do and the doctor came in when I was there and when he came out he said he’s progressing really well,” Cook told The Drum on Monday night.
When asked what happened on the night, Cook recounted how the group had played the show and things were going well, adding “Greg gives his all”.
It was when the band got to the end of the show and Page said goodbye and thanked the crowd for coming that things took a turn for the worse.
“[Page] walked off and he walked behind me,” Cook said.
“I didn’t actually see this part of it, but apparently he fell to his knees and when I looked around he was lying on his back with his arms outstretched.”
Cook said he first thought his bandmate was exhausted and laying on the ground to catch his breath.
“He started looking like he was having a fit, so some of our crew came over,” Cook said.
At that point, Cook said he thought it was important for the crew to look after Page, “and it was more important for me to reassure the audience to say what was happening”.
“So, we went back on and did one more song,” he said.
“We closed the curtain on him so they couldn’t see because part of his legs were sticking out.”
But it soon became clear Page was in far worse a condition than Cook had assumed.
“I went up to the green room and came down and when I came back down they were performing CPR on him — I had no idea it was that serious.”
Cook said that Ms Jones took control when she arrived at the scene.
“Our drummer, Steve Pace, and our staff member, Kim Antonelli, they started the CPR and then the defibrillator turned up and Grace took over there and she’s amazing,” he said.
“She’s only 23 and is quietly-spoken, quite shy — I think she’s not enjoying all the attention really — but she was so assured and she knew what she was doing.”
Cook said the paramedics that arrived later spoke about how chances of survival go down when there are fewer defibrillators around.
“[They said] just using CPR there’s only a 6 per cent chance of survival and in Australia we don’t have as many defibrillators as some countries,” Cook said.
“In Australia I think the survival rate of heart attacks outside hospitals is about 9 per cent.
“In Seattle in the US they have a lot of defibrillators and it’s 28 per cent so it makes a lot of difference. I believe they actually talk to you — they tell you what to do.”
Cook said that while the concert had been overshadowed by Page’s collapse, it was “actually a relief to raise money for the Red Cross and for the firies”.
“But yeah, it was pretty wild.”