A long road ahead, but I’m grateful to be here: Cairns

Former New Zealand all-rounder Chris Cairns said that the road ahead is long, but feels grateful to be here. This is the first time Cairns has spoken after paralysis in legs due to a stroke in his spine following an emergency heart surgery in Sydney.

In the minute-long video message on Twitter, he thanked the surgeons, doctors, nurses and specialists who looked after him in Canberra and Sydney. The caption of the video was, “It’s been a big 6 wks. On 4th August I suffered a Type A aortic dissection, a rare but serious condition. I required emergency surgery and from there a range of complications ensued and I ended up suffering a spinal stroke. A long road ahead, but I’m grateful to be here.”

“Hi everybody. 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. I had several surgeries and grafts and very thankfully the specialists were able to save the heart itself,” said Cairns in a post on the social media platform after seven years.

“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 at Canberra Hospital, to St Vincent’s in Sydney, the surgeons, the doctors, the nurses, the specialists – you saved my life. Thanks also for all the well-wishes that have been sent through to Mel, my wife, and I.

“Uplifting, humbling, and so, so special. I’ll keep posting to keep you along on the journey as it goes, but please, thank you so much and much love to everybody,” concluded the 51-year-old Cairns.

Cairns, the son of former New Zealand Test cricketer Lance Cairns, featured in 62 Tests, 215 ODIs and two T20Is for New Zealand between 1989 and 2006. In 2000, he was named as one of five Wisden Cricketers of the Year.