Murray Cook says his bandmate Greg Page is “doing really well”, after suffering a cardiac arrest and collapsing onstage at a Wiggles reunion bushfire benefit show at Sydney’s Castle Hill RSL on Friday night.
Speaking with the ABC, the Red Wiggle said he’s been to visit his yellow-sweatered bandmate at Westmead Hospital and Greg is in great spirits.
“He’s doing really well,” Murray told The Drum on Monday night. “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”.
Murray also described the terrifying moment that he witnessed Greg have a heart attack as he was walking offstage at the show.
“[Greg] walked off and he walked behind me,” Murray explained, recounting the events before Friday night’s planned encore.
“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.”
At first, Murray thought his bandmate was just exhausted and had laid down on the ground to catch his breath, but then he realised something was wrong.
“He started looking like he was having a fit, so some of our crew came over,” Murray continued.
At that point, the Red Wiggle decided it was more important for him to reassure the audience and let them know what was happening, while letting the crew look after Greg.
“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.”
Murray also admitted he didn’t realise just how serious the situation was at the time.
“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,” he said.
Like the rest of Australia, Murray also heaped praise on 22-year-old off-duty nurse Grace Jones, who helped perform CPR on Greg before using a defibrillator on him until paramedics arrived.
“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.”
During the chat, Murray also reflected on how bloody fortunate Greg was to have survived the whole ordeal.
“[Paramedics 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,” he reflected.
“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.”
Finally, Murray said that, while Greg’s collapse seems to have overshadowed the gig itself, it was “actually a relief to raise money for the Red Cross and for the firies”.
“But yeah, it was pretty wild,” he admitted.
For more information on the music world’s bushfire relief efforts you can check out our 2020 Bushfires Feed right here.
Otherwise find out more ways you can donate to the bushfire crisis yourself, below.
Donate to the Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery here.
Donate to the NSW Rural Fire Services here.
Donate to QLD Fire & Rescue here.
Donate to the Country Fire Association of Victoria here.
Donate to the South Australian Country Fire Service here.