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Chris Cairns has thanked the Canberra medical team that saved his life after the New Zealand cricket great's frightening health scare in August.
The cricket world was left shocked by the news Cairns had collapsed and been rushed to hospital last month, where he was placed on life support.
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The 51-year-old was transferred to Sydney's St Vincent's Hospital on August 10 having initially had surgery in Canberra for a reported aortic dissection - a tear in the lining of the body's main artery.
Cairns then endured weeks of complications, culminating in a spinal stroke that's left him paralysed but grateful to be alive.
In a video posted on Twitter, he said: "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.
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. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/ylRoz2HmPF
— Chris Cairns (@chriscairns168) September 19, 2021
"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 to 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."
Two weeks after suffering the stroke, Cairns' family revealed the Canberra-based star is facing a "long recovery".
"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.
"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 Cairns had a glittering career for New Zealand
Cairns played 62 Tests, 215 one-day internationals and two Twenty20 matches for New Zealand between 1989 and 2006 before becoming a television pundit.
He was one of the best all-rounders of his era, especially in the shorter formats.
He amassed more than 3000 runs in Test cricket and close to 5000 in ODIs, while passing the 200-wicket mark in both formats.
Cairns was named one of Wisden's cricketers of the year in 2000, and awarded the New Zealand order of merit when he retired from Tests in 2004.
He has lived in Canberra for several years after his marriage to Australian Melanie Croser in 2010.
After retiring from international cricket, he was the subject of allegations of match fixing in India as captain of the Chandigarh Lions in the defunct Indian Cricket League (ICL) in 2008.
He denied any wrongdoing and fought several legal battles to clear his name, winning a libel case against former Indian Premier League chairman Lalit Modi in 2012.
In 2015 he was cleared of perjury in relation to the libel case after being charged by Britain's Crown Prosecution Service.
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