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- New Zealand cricketer
Former New Zealand cricketer Chris Cairns has given fans a heartwarming update on his condition months after complications during life-saving emergency heart surgery left him paralysed.
It was revealed in August that the 51-year-old had endured a frightening medical episode, which began with him collapsing after arriving at the emergency department.
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While he was undergoing emergency heart surgery for an aortic dissection he suffered complications, which saw Cairns placed on life support and transferred to Sydney hospital St Vincents.
The problems continued after his transfer, culminating in a spinal stroke which robbed the former Test all-rounder of the use of his legs.
Since being discharged from hospital and beginning the lengthy rehabilitation process, Cairns has accepted the possibility he may not walk again but is embracing the challenge nonetheless.
The New Zealand great shared some happy snaps from the Christmas break on Twitter, to the delight of fans keeping up with his progress.
— Chris Cairns (@chriscairns168) December 30, 2021
Cairns marked what he considered to be a major milestone in his recovery earlier in December, when he was able to stand unassisted in a hydrotherapy pool.
A heavy rehab schedule involving five hours of gym work a day is a reflection of his sporting past, Cairns says, in which recovering from injury requires discipline.
“Having rehabbed during a sporting career you understand mental discipline is required,” he said.
“I know that some people in rehab facilities don’t have that background and they struggle with motivation to get up every day. They are not seeing many gains.
“Having that background and single mindedness will play a role in helping me get to where I want to get to.
“I don’t know if I will ever walk again and I have made my peace with that.
“It is now about understanding I can lead a full and enjoyable life in a wheelchair but at the same time knowing it will be different.”
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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