Political activist and radio personality, Colin Graham has been rushed to hospital after falling ill on live radio on Monday.
Graham was hosting the New Democratic Party’s (NDP) “New Times” programme, on NICE Radio, when he collapsed in the studio, Douglas De Freitas, the station’s manager told listeners.
A worker at the station found Graham in the studio and her screams in reaction were broadcast live as she appealed for help for the broadcaster.
De Freitas announced that the programme, which is broadcast on weekdays from 10:45 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. would be suspended until Tuesday.
Meanwhile, NDP President and Opposition Leader Godwin Friday said he was preparing for his weekly appearance on the programme when Graham fell ill.
“It is still very concerning to all of us who were listening to the programme this morning, as I was, for his family and I believe for all the people in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, who would be very concerned and worried this morning,” Friday said on the programme after travelling to the studio in Dorsetshire Hill from the party’s headquarters on Murray’s Road.
“We got to the studio shortly after. He was sitting up. The party’s general secretary has taken him to the hospital,” Friday said and asked listeners to keep Graham in their prayers.
“We are still very concerned; very worried. We are all very concerned for him. It is good to know that he was speaking,” Friday said.
“Let’s hope and pray that this is something that will be resolved soon and that Colin will be back as soon as possible,” the opposition leader said, adding that he knows that Graham is the kind of person who likes to be active.
“I heard him speaking to relatives saying not to worry and he is fine,” Friday said, adding that he wants listeners to know that Graham has been taken to hospital and the party would keep them posted.
Friday also expressed concern for people who “had the misfortune of hearing it live on the radio”.
He said that there people cried in vehicles as he and other party officials travelled to the studio.
“… coming up here you can imagine all the worst things… There were tears in the vehicle because we feared the worst but as it is now, we are keeping him in our prayers.”
He said that the most important thing now is for Graham to be checked out by medical staff at the hospital.
“… and we will be there supporting him all the way, as I am sure our radio audience will be as well.
“And for our radio audience, this is a scary moment for everyone and please keep Colin in your prayers,” the opposition leader said.
De Freitas said that Graham had walked out of the studio, supported by NDP vice-president and Central Kingstown MP, St. Clair Leacock and East Kingstown MP, Fitz Bramble and was given a hot drink.
De Freitas praised the quick response of NDP officials, saying he had failed to get an ambulance to respond.
“I was trying to get the hospital to send an ambulance and I was speaking to two doctors,” he said.
“We suspend the programme for today; the programme will continue tomorrow. It was a very scary moment for us in the studio…” De Freitas said.
Graham has become the second “New Times” host to fall ill live on radio. In 2012, then host of the programme, Elwardo “E.G.” Lynch was incomprehensible for about 12 minutes live on air after suffering a stroke in the NICE Radio studio.
He died two years later.
And, on Aug. 4, 2020, communications professional and activist Samuel Jeremiah George, better known as Jerry S. George, died during a live broadcast of his “Early in the Morning with Jerry S. George” after telling his co host, “I’ll step out of the frame, eh. Okay? You go ahead.”