Legendary cricketer Chris Cairns is left paralyzed after a devastating stroke suffered during emergency heart surgery
- Cricket legend Chris Cairns suffered a stroke during emergency heart surgery
- The stroke has left the New Zealand sports legend paralyzed in his legs
- In a statement, the family said they had returned to their home in Canberra
- Cairns begins a rehabilitation process at a specialized spinal cord hospital
New Zealand cricket legend Chris Cairns has been paralyzed after suffering a stroke during heart surgery and faces “a long road to recovery,” his family said Friday.
Cairns, 51, one of the world’s top all-rounders in the early 2000s, suffered a life-threatening heart condition this month when a tear developed in the lining of a major artery.
The former Canberra international underwent emergency surgery in Sydney, but his family said he suffered a stroke during the procedure.
New Zealand cricket legend Chris Cairns (pictured) suffered a stroke during emergency heart surgery, which left his legs paralyzed
“This has resulted in paralysis in his legs,” the family said in a statement.
“As a result, he will undergo a major rehabilitation process at a specialized spinal cord hospital in Australia.”
It said that Cairns and his family had returned to Canberra to focus on spending time together and “making all the progress in his recovery.”
“Chris and his family remain grateful for the tremendous support from the public during this difficult time,” the statement said.
“They also appreciate the way their privacy is respected.”
Cairns played 62 Tests between 1989 and 2004, averaging 29.4 with the ball and 33.53 with the bat, including 87 sixes – a world record at the time.
However, his on-field performance was overshadowed by match-fixing allegations, which were vehemently denied by Cairns, resulting in two lawsuits.
Cairns was released on both occasions, but complained that his reputation was nevertheless ‘scorched’.
Following surgery, the Cairns family (pictured) returned to their home in Canberra before embarking on rehabilitation at a specialist spinal cord hospital