New Zealand cricket legend Chris Cairns has suffered paralysis in his legs following a stroke in his spine during life-saving heart surgery in Australia. The former New Zealand all-rounder has returned to Canberra but remains in critical condition.
He was admitted to St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney where he experienced complications during his heart surgery. The 51-year old suffering an aortic dissection, a condition in which a tear occurs in the inner layer of the body’s main artery (aorta). He was taken off life support last week after his condition was reported to be improving. However, he is again in a serious condition.
Aaron Lloyd, Cairns’ lawyer, on Friday said in a statement, “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.
“As a result, he will be undertaking a significant rehabilitation process at a specialist spinal hospital in Australia. 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.
“This has resulted in paralysis in his legs,” the family said in a statement.
“As a result, he will be undertaking a significant rehabilitation process at a specialist spinal hospital in Australia.”
It said Cairns and his family had returned to Canberra to focus on spending time together and “making whatever progress they can in his recovery”.
“Chris and his family remain appreciative of the immense public support as they deal with this difficult time,” the statement said.
“They also appreciate the way in which their privacy has been respected,” it added.
Cairns was one of the most sought-after all-rounders during his cricketing days in the early 2000s. He has represented New Zealand in 62 Test cricket matches between 1989 and 2004, averaging 29.4 with the ball and 33.53 with the bat, including 87 sixes. In the white-ball game, he has played for the side in 215 ODIs and two T20Is until 2006. For his achievements, he was named as the Wisden Almanack’s cricketers of the year in 2000.
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