He was the yellow-skivvied superhero who got kids jiggling and giggling to songs more contagious than laughter.
But fruit salads and hot potatoes were distant memories for original Wiggles member Greg Page, after he suffered a cardiac arrest as he was leaving the stage of a bushfire relief reunion concert in January.
As curtains were drawn, Page, 48, was brought back to life by four bystanders — two of whom were non-medical professionals who quickly became first responders — Wiggles crew member Kimmy Antonelli and drummer Steve Pace.
“For everyday people to step up, it shows just how powerful someone can be if they are confident enough to act in a situation when someone isn’t breathing,” Page said. “Any attempt at resuscitation is better than no attempt.”
From the moment Page collapsed, Steve Pace said he sprang into action.
“We had just finished a super energetic set of songs when our sound engineer called out to me and said something was wrong with Greg. The look on her face was full of terror,” he said.
Pace helped Antonelli and audience member Dr Therese Wales give Page CPR for about seven minutes until a staff member at the Castle Hill RSL handed them a defibrillator.
An off-duty nurse who was also in the crowd shocked his heart three times.
“We saw him come back to life as the ambulance arrived. Everyone was a hero that night,” Pace said.
The pair reunited to share their story ahead of the Heart Foundation’s Give with Heart Day. Every dollar donated today will be quadrupled by other generous donors.
Page encouraged Australians to visit their GP for a heart health check.
“I didn’t have any symptoms of a heart attack, no pain in the chest or shortness of breath that could have warned me that I was about to drop dead,” he said. “Don’t wait to find out.”
Last year, the Heart Foundation and News Corp helped secure a new Medicare rebate for a heart health check, which makes it even easier to get a full check-up.
Heart Foundation chief executive, Adjunct Professor John Kelly, said 48 Australians die of heart disease every day.
“Give with Heart Day is so important because it allows the Heart Foundation to keep funding vital research,” he said.
Donate at givewithheartday.com.au