Honestly, who needs Batman when you’ve got The Wiggles?
The veteran band are being hailed heroes after helping save the life of a fan who was critically ill with COVID-19.
Sarah Kelly, a 22-year-old non-verbal woman with Down Syndrome, was admitted to the ICU at Royal Melbourne Hospital after contracting the virus. She needed oxygen to survive, but was fearful of the nasal mask.
As the Herald Sun reports, every time intensive care nurse Steven Moylan and his colleagues tried to insert oxygen tubes into her nose, the anxious Sarah resisted.
“She didn’t like wearing them. She would take them off and she’d catch you trying to put them on,” Steven explains.
“We would try to sneak them on while she was sleeping but she was too cunning and would just knock them away.”
As Sarah’s condition deteriorated and she was placed in an induced coma and hooked up to a ventilator, the issue soon became a matter of life and death. And that’s when Dr. Steven hatched a crazy plan to enlist the services of Australia’s favourite rainbow-sweatered children’s entertainers to help Sarah understand the importance of her breathing tubes.
“For Sarah, the Wiggles have been something in her life for so long, but we’re just complete strangers trying to deliver care,” Steven told the paper.
“So, to have something familiar like the Wiggles wearing something that she is not familiar with, I’d hoped the two would marry up.
“It was super important that we got her to do it because it could have been the difference between being successful off the ventilator and not.”
And The Wiggles rose to the occasion like the legends they are.
Even in the face of Sydney’s Covid restrictions, Blue Wiggle Anthony Field and “Dr” Red Wiggle Simon Pryce managed to link up in the studio with a dummy Dorothy the Dinosaur, to create an instructional video (complete with real ICU oxygen equipment which the hospital had posted to them), to encourage Sarah to wear a high-flow nasal cannula, as well as undertake sets of deep breathing and chest physio exercises.
“We thought we could present it to Sarah in a way that we were her friends, and we do it so it is not as scary,” the Blue Wiggle explained.
“She could relate to it,” he continued. “‘The Wiggles are putting that on, Dorothy is watching, hey, I’m going to do it too’. We tried to make it so it was fun.”
And, sure enough, after waking from her three-week coma on August 8 and being showed the personalised video, Sarah was quick to mimic her heroes, putting on her oxygen tubes and breathing along with them.
She also reportedly continued to do the deep breathing exercises along with the Wiggles whenever she watched the clip.
Happily, Sarah is now out of the ICU and is said to be recovering well.
While the life-affirming story of The Wiggles’ heroics is making international headlines, even catching the eye of American actor Ben “Zoolander” Stiller, who tweeted: “This is an amazing story. Nurse Steven is a hero and @TheWiggles are the best. Always was an Anthony fan”
Saving lives? Smashing triple j‘s Like A Version? We think it’s safe to say The Wiggles truly are the heroes 2021 needs and deserves #WigglesforPM
Watch footage of their video for Sarah, below.
— Ben Stiller (@RedHourBen) August 22, 2021