Positive news as paralysed Cairns reveals he has a ‘flickering’ in his right ankle

Former New Zealand cricketer Chris Cairns, who had suffered a spinal stroke following a recent heart surgery that left him paralysed below the waist, has revealed on social media that he has a ‘flickering’ in his right ankle, indicating that he might be on a slow but steady path to recovery.

The 51-year-old had suffered complications following a major heart surgery in Sydney. Cairns suffered an aortic dissection and had to be operated upon at Sydney’s St Vincent’s Hospital.

During the life-saving emergency heart surgery Cairns underwent, he suffered a stroke in his spine, resulting in paralysis in his legs. As a result he is undertaking a rehabilitation process at a specialist spinal hospital.

Aortic dissection is a serious medical condition in which a tear happens in the inner layer of the body’s main artery (aorta).

On Friday, the former New Zealand star posted a collage of eight pictures and wrote that he spends five hours a day in the gym, adding that “my right ankle is flickering”.

“My right ankle is flickering!!! Super stoked about that. Toes are the furthest point from the brain and messages are slowly making their way down to them. A fair bit to go….but these days I’m all about celebrating the small wins!” wrote Cairns on Instagram.

Cairns has been posting periodic updates about his health on social media. In one of his earlier posts, Cairns, the son of former New Zealand Test cricketer Lance Cairns, wrote that he was seeking inspiration from an Arthur Ashe quote pinned by his daughter inside the ICU in Sydney during his prolonged stay in hospital.

Cairns has 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.