New Zealand cricket team’s former all-rounder Chris Cairns suffered paralysis in his legs after a stroke in his spine during what was supposed to be life-saving heart surgery in Australia. Cairns is still serious after the major heart surgery that he underwent in Sydney.
The 51-year-old former cricketer returned to Canberra where he lives. Chris Cairns faces a long road to recovery after he suffered an aortic dissection, a major medical condition, to treat which he had to be transferred to Sydney’s St Vincent’s Hospital on life support earlier this month.
Aortic dissection is a serious condition where the inner layer of the body’s main artery (aorta) tears. “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,” Cairns’ lawyer Aaron Lloyd said in a statement.
“As a result, he will be undertaking a significant rehabilitation process at a specialist spinal hospital in Australia,” the lawyer said.
Doctors described the condition of Chris Cairns as “serious but stable” on 11 August when he was moved to the Sydney hospital. Last week, he was off life support and communicating with his family. One of the best all-rounders of his time, Cairns played 62 Tests, 215 ODIs, and two T20Is for New Zealand between 1989 and 2006.
Chris Cairns was named one of the Wisden Almanack’s cricketers of the year in 2000 when at the peak of his powers. His father Lance Cairns played Test cricket for New Zealand.
Cairns and his wife Melanie live in Canberra and have two young children.
Chris Cairns faced allegations of match-fixing when he played in the now-defunct Indian Cricket League in 2008 and fought many legal battles to prove his innocence during which he won a defamation case against the IPL founder Lalit Modi in London in 2012.
He again faced fixing allegations from fellow cricketers Lou Vincent and Brendon McCullum before being acquitted of perjury and perverting the course of justice following a gruelling trial in London court in 2015.
Fighting corruption allegations took a toll on his life and at one point in time, he had to take up a job with the Auckland Council to drive trucks and clean bus shelters to foot the legal bills.