Watch: Chris Cairns ready to tackle ‘the greatest challenge I’ve ever faced’

September 19, 2021 at 3:16 PM

Cricket legend Chris Cairns says he is ready to tackle the greatest challenge he has ever faced as he begins rehabilitation following a serious health scare.

The former Black Cap, 51, collapsed in Canberra last month after suffering a massive heart attack, resulting in an aortic dissection, or a tear in the inner layer of the body’s main artery.

During life-saving emergency heart surgery in Sydney, Cairns then suffered a stroke in his spine, resulting in paralysis in his legs.

Cairns’ family said last month that he would be undertaking a significant rehabilitation process at a specialist spinal hospital, and tonight the former all-rounder posted a video on social media to update fans on his condition.

“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,” Cairns said. “I had several surgeries and grafts and, very 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.”

Cairns thanked fans for the “uplifting, humble and special” messages he had been sent in the last six weeks and paid particular tribute to those who had treated him.

“A huge thanks to the team here in Canberra, at Canberra hospital, to St Vincent’s in Sydney, the surgeons, the doctors, the nurses, the specialists – you saved my life. Thanks also for all the well wishes that have been sent through to my wife Mel and I.”

Cairns said he would continue to post and keep fans updated on the rigorous journey he was about to begin.

The son of Black Cap legend Lance Cairns, Chris was a right-hand batsman and fast-medium bowler, known as one of the finest all-rounders of his generation.

He has been living and working in Canberra with his wife Melanie and their children for several years.

Cairns had to rebuild his life after walking out of Southwark Crown Court in London in 2015 after being found not guilty of perjury and perverting the course of justice charges in relation to match-fixing allegations. (NZ Herald)