Former New Zealand all-rounder Chris Cairns has returned to his residence in Canberra. But he faces a long road to recovery, especially after having paralysis in his legs due to a stroke in his spine.
The 51-year-old remains in a serious condition after suffering complications following a major heart surgery in Sydney. Cairns suffered an aortic dissection and was transferred to Sydney’s St Vincent’s Hospital on life support earlier this month.
“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,” said a statement by his lawyer Aaron Lloyd, according to stuff.co.nz.
“As a result he will be undertaking a significant rehabilitation process at a specialist spinal hospital in Australia.”
Aortic dissection is a serious medical condition in which a tear happens in the inner layer of the body’s main artery (aorta). Last week, Cairns was taken off life support and was able to communicate with his family.
“Chris and his family remain appreciative of the immense public support as they deal with this difficult time. They also appreciate the way in which their privacy has been respected. Chris and his family now want to focus on spending time together where possible and making whatever progress they can in his recovery. We will update everyone when there is more news, but that is likely to be some time away,” further said the statement.
Cairns, the son of former New Zealand all-rounder Lance Cairns, played 62 Tests, 215 ODIs, and two T20Is for New Zealand from 1989 to 2006. He amassed 3,320 runs at an average of 33.53 and scalped 218 wickets at an average of 29.40 in Test cricket.
In ODIs, Cairns scored 4,950 runs at an average of 29.46 and took 201 wickets with an average of 32.80. He was also named as one of five Wisden Cricketers of the year in 2000.