When former yellow Wiggle Greg Page woke up in hospital last January, the first thing he heard was that he was a lucky man.
"[The nurse] said to me 'one in 10 people survive what you've been through'. He said 'your ribs are going to be sore from where they've done CPR on you'," Mr Page said.
"When he said that, I knew how close it had come."
Mr Page had been performing with the rest of the original Wiggles at a bushfire relief concert at Castle Hill RSL in Sydney's north west. He collapsed with a sudden cardiac arrest.
"The event that dropped me dead was a 100 per cent blocked LAD (left anterior descending) artery, the widow maker they call that one," Mr Page said.
A cardiac nurse, who had never used an automated external defibrillator before, saved his life.
As a man who considered himself fit and healthy it was something he "never in a million dreams" anticipated.
"If the roles had been reversed on the night of my event I probably would have gone 'my god, I can't do anything'. Because I would have thought 'I'm not trained in CPR, I might make them worse'. But it doesn't get worse, there is no worse," Mr Page said.
"That is something I never knew. I know there were people there on the night who kind of freaked out, and I understand that, but knowledge is power. Any attempt at CPR is better than no attempt because you can't make them worse.
"Once somebody has stopped breathing, is not responding, they're going to die."
It's one of the key messages the Wiggle wants to get out to the public.
After surviving his cardiac arrest and learning more about the silent killer, Mr Page started a charity, Heart of the Nation. Through the charity, he's donated five AEDs to George Chapman at the Dubbo Australian Red Cross that will be installed in Wellington in NSW's Central West.
Mr Chapman aims to get AEDs within two minutes of all high traffic areas of Dubbo and Wellington.
"Ten minutes is the maximum [you can wait for an AED]. After 10 minutes you've got next to no chance of survival," the first aid trainer said.
"For every minute you delay putting that AED on somebody after that cardiac arrest, their chances of recovering go down 10 per cent."
For Mr Page, the wait was seven minutes.
"And that's at a venue where they knew they had an AED, that's not being out on the street where you're not sure," he said.
Through Heart of the Nation, Mr Page is hoping to get yellow AED stickers on the windows of businesses that carry the defibrillators. He also wants to see more people trained in CPR, so they're confident in the ability to act if they witness a similar situation.
IN OTHER NEWS:
While any CPR could save someone's life, Mr Page knows only too well that quality CPR saves cognitive function.
"You can save someone's life but because the brain is starved of oxygen for a long period of time while you're waiting for the ambulance to turn up, there could be some neurological defects that occur," he said.
Mr Page and his wife Vanessa initially heard the entertainer's CPR had lasted 25 minutes.
"As a cardiac nurse she knew that wasn't good. If CPR isn't good, the chances of coming out of it with all your faculties about you is not great. She was worried for a long time, but I think she's convinced now I'm okay," he said.
Overall, Mr Page said he was now doing well.
"I've still got heart disease I need to monitor but I think it's a warning to everybody. You may have heart disease and not know it and that's why you want to make sure your colleagues, your family, your friends, people in the community all know how to respond in case it's you that drops to the ground."
Free, life-saving training on offer at expo
Australian Red Cross will be holding a CPR training day and medical expo on Saturday, March 13. They're calling it Learn CPR Saturday.
The expo will be held at the Dubbo Regional Theatre and Convention Centre between 9am to 4pm. There will be up to 10 first aid trainers present on the day ready to teach people how to do CPR and use a defibrillator.
"Even if you have done a first aid course or a CPR course you should still come along to refresh your skills and this time it will be free of charge. Everybody has donated their time and equipment, for which we are very grateful," Mr Chapman said.
In addition to learning CPR, there will also be a chance for any attendees to have their blood pressure, eyes and hearing checked. A nurse from the Westmead Children's Hospital, representatives from the Dubbo Private Hospital and a health insurance provider will also be on hand for a chat.
Six AEDs will also be for sale on the day for "a really, really good price". Mr Chapman said he would love for them to go to people who live out of town to increase the chance of survival if someone went into cardiac arrest.
Mr Page has encouraged the public to support the event.
"We need the community to come along and get involved. We've got access to all these [automated external defibrillators] in the community so we need people to understand where they are and understand that they can use them," he said.
"Come along, get some training, get the confidence to do some CPR and save a life."
The event has been sponsored by Dubbo Regional Council.