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‘I don’t know if I will ever walk again, but happy to be alive’ – Chris Cairns

By BetBarter Staff

December 3, 2021

Former New Zealand all-rounder Chris Cairns is not sure if he will ever be able to walk but is happy to be still alive. The Kiwi all-rounder had suffered an aortic dissection in his heart and was put on life support. Later, he underwent four open surgeries which saved his life. However, he suffered a spinal stroke on the operating table which left him paralysed. Cairns is currently undergoing rehab at the University of Canberra Hospital.

"I don't know if I will ever walk again and I have made my peace with that," he was quoted as saying by stuff.co.nz. "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."

Cairns, an icon of New Zealand cricket, might have to serve the remainder of his life on a wheelchair but he is in peace that he has survived a life-threatening condition.

"It has been 14 weeks since I had my injury and it feels like a lifetime when I look back. I have zero recollection of the eight or nine days when I had four open heart surgeries. "My wife, Mel, was with me the whole time and I have to refer back to her constantly with regards to what was going on. I was completely out of it."

Cairns further disclosed what happened on the dreadful day when he suffered the attack. "I remember dropping kids off at school that morning. But with an aortic dissection, you are a functioning time bomb. "The tear in your artery is leaking blood and your blood pressure drops. You are in a haze. I remember arriving at the emergency department, vomiting and then they took my blood pressure and rushed me through.

"They put me upside down to get blood flow down to the brain. Next thing I remember is waking up in Sydney nine days later not knowing what was going on."

The veteran is not running away from reality and has accepted the fact that there is a high possibility that he may never be able to walk again. "I will try and squeeze everything I can in over the next 12-24 months. Having been in a career when bones and muscles take six weeks to repair, there is no timeline here. I may get a flicker in three months in one muscle but it may take nine months. "Your muscles atrophy over time and so then that takes time to build back up. It is one thing getting nerves to turn back on but then you have to build the muscle back up so you can stand and then walk. "I hope I will be going back on family holidays with the kids but I may be wheelchair bound for the rest of my life. At least I have the chance to be here and live life in a different way if that happens.