Greg Page of The Wiggles suffers cardiac arrest during bushfire relief concert
Footage from the concert shows Page, who suffers from a circulatory system disorder, singing and dancing on stage with the other original band members just moments before he collapses towards the end of the show. The sold-out over-18s reunion show was being livestreamed at the time, with all proceeds going to the Australian Red Cross and WIRES following the devastating bushfires.
“Thank you everybody,” Page says, waving to the crowd and smiling.
“Thanks for coming to support all of those wonderful people doing all that great work for everyone.”
As the crowd cheers, Page walks to the side of the stage and collapses.
Several people can be seen running across the stage and the curtain is partially pulled across to shield him from the audience.
Murray Cook, the original Red Wiggle, then returns to the stage to speak to the crowd.
“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.
The other band members do, however, return a short time later and perform the song Hot Potato.
“We’re going to sing it for Greg and hope he gets better real quick,” Blue Wiggle Anthony Field says.
Page has spoken publicly before about suffering from orthostatic intolerance, an often undiagnosed circulatory system disorder that affects blood flow.
In his memoir Now and Then: The Life-Changing Journey of the Original Yellow Wiggle, Page talks about how the illness forced him to leave The Wiggles in 2006, after 15 years of touring the world with his best friends. He returned to The Wiggles briefly in 2012, but retired again the same year.
People with orthostatic intolerance lack a nervous system that adequately moves the blood around their body, so that when they sit or stand for any length of time, blood instead pools in their pelvis or leg regions, causing them to faint.
For more than a decade, Page suffered embarrassing symptoms that made him worried others might think he was drunk. He often felt disoriented and vague, dizzy when standing upright for long periods and even slurred his words. He sometimes walked into walls and missed his mouth while eating dinner.
“I became almost a social recluse, incapable of communicating at any great level with anyone,” he writes of how it affected him.
“It would exhaust me just to think, let alone talk or walk.
“I wanted to give more attention to this condition, to help people diagnose it and [deal with] the frustration that comes with being misdiagnosed.”
The original Wiggles line-up of Page, Field, Cook and Jeff Fatt were performing on Friday night the first of two planned fundraisers for the bushfire relief effort.
It was the first time they had appeared onstage together since 2016, when they performed an adults-only 25th-anniversary event as a fundraiser for returned services charity Soldier On.
Megan Levy is a breaking news reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald, after previous stints at The Age in Melbourne and London’s The Daily Telegraph. Email or tweet Megan with your news tips.
Ying Xiang Tan is digital night producer for The Sydney Morning Herald.