Recently the team at CS Australia heard first-hand the near-death experience Wiggles lead singer and cofounder Greg Page went through when he had a heart attack that led to a sudden cardiac arrest at the end of a Wiggles performance back in January 2020 – just after his 48th birthday.
It was an absolute wake up call to everyone in the CS team to hear Greg talk so openly about his ordeal and the signs to look out for, whatever your health or fitness level.
As our GM for Construction Specialties Australia, Bill Maloukis said, “our team, like many Australians, didn’t know the full significance of what is happening to the body during a heart attack vs what happens during a cardiac arrest, and the steps anyone in the public can take to take immediate action to help, particularly when it comes to the simple steps of using an AED machine.”
Over the years Greg has spent many years entertaining and educating children and now his new mission is to educate adults on the ‘Chain of Survival’ and AED machines. As Greg explained, “fit and active people can also be struck by a cardiac arrest, for a number of reasons.”
That day, Greg suffered a coronary occlusion, a blockage of one of the major blood vessels to the heart. Page was seen falling to the ground as he walked off stage at the Sydney reunion concert, where he was performing with original Wiggle’s bandmates Murray Cook, Anthony Field and Jeff Fatt for a bushfire aid concert. Nurse Grace Jones helped perform CPR on Page before using a defibrillator in front of a crowd of hundreds, along with thousands more watching via live stream. The quick response saved Greg’s life as the three shocks from the defibrillator kickstarted his heart.
“It’s hard, because when you’re doing a show like that, you’re out of breath, you’re exhausted and so it possibly masked some of the symptoms, but I certainly don’t remember feeling a pain in the chest which is one of the typical warning signs people talk about”, Greg said.
“For me, my heart attack and then cardiac arrest came totally out of the blue and that’s where you’ve got to look at your lifestyle and make sure your lifestyle is not affecting your risk of suffering like I did.
The ‘Chain of Survival’ is a critical concept that shows how simple it can be to save lives. There are 20,000 cardiac arrests in the community each year and only 12% of people survive! Greg was lucky, not only that there was a nurse in the audience, buy that she acted quickly.
The CS team really enjoyed hearing about the experience and is helping to support the awareness and visual improvement of signage for an AED which stand for ‘Automated External Defibrillator’ devices across Australia. For those that do not know, an AED sends an electrical shock across the patient’s heart, stopping it from beating and allowing it to attempt to “re-start” on its own. The process of stopping the heart is called “Defibrillating” the heart.
To assist, the CS team also participated in the survey to review the colour scheme of AED signage. Currently the green colour can be hard to find, so Greg is advocating for a bright yellow design – maybe to also match his yellow Wiggle shirt! – that can be quickly found in all sorts of workplaces or public spaces.
Greg’s new mission now moves to a different beat – but it is still yellow!
To support awareness and to ensure as many businesses as possible have an AED machine on hand, CS is calling all businesses across Australia, especially all building and architect firms, to action in support for their staff and local communities.
To purchase an AED for your organization at an incredibly low price of just $1795 plus shipping, as well as help out Greg’s new charitable organization, Heart of the Nation, please go to www.isustainable.com.au/acci
More information is available about Greg’s new charity organisation ‘Heart of The Nation’.
You can also read more about Greg’s experience at some of the news article from the day: