Former New Zealand all-rounder Chris Cairns is on the “long road” to recovery after revealing he suffered a spinal stroke in August.
The 51-year-old was transferred to St Vincent’s hospital in Sydney on August 10 having initially had surgery in Canberra six days prior for a reported aortic dissection – a tear in the lining of the body’s main artery.
Cairns, who now lives in the ACT, then endured weeks of complications, culminating in a spinal stroke, but is alive and grateful.
“Just over six weeks ago I suffered a type-A aortic dissection which essentially means there’s a tear in one of the major arteries of the heart,” he said in a video posted on Twitter on Sunday.
“I had several surgeries and grafts and thankfully the specialists were able to save the heart itself. One of the complications that arose was a spinal stroke, which in itself will provide me with possibly the greatest challenge I’ve ever faced in rehab going forward.
“Huge thanks to the team here in Canberra and in Sydney: To the surgeons, the doctors, the nurses, the specialists – you saved my life.
“Thanks also for all the well-wishes that have been sent to my wife and I: uplifting, humbling and so, so special.”
He signed off his tweet by saying: “A long road ahead, but I’m grateful to be here.”
In August, Cairns’ lawyer Aaron Lloyd revealed the former cricketer was paralysed in his legs after suffering the spinal stroke.
“During the life-saving emergency heart surgery Chris underwent in Sydney he suffered a stroke in his spine. This has resulted in paralysis in his legs,” Mr Lloyd said.
“As a result, he will be undertaking a significant rehabilitation process at a specialist spinal hospital in Australia.
“Chris and his family now want to focus on spending time together where possible and making whatever progress they can in his recovery.”
Cairns is the son of another NZ cricket legend, Lance Cairns, and played 62 Tests, 215 one-day internationals and two Twenty20 matches for New Zealand between 1989 and 2006.
Support poured in from his homeland and throughout the cricketing world after news of his health emergency was revealed.