Former New Zealand all-rounder Chris Cairns says he is just grateful to be alive after undergoing life-saving heart surgery last month.
Cairns was on a life support machine at St Vincent's Hospital Sydney following a "major medical event" in Canberra
The 52-year-old was left paralysed after suffering a stroke in his spine during emergency heart surgery, having been transferred to Sydney following an operation in Canberra.
Cairns was able to communicate with his family after coming off his life support.
He posted a video on Twitter on Sunday, stating that he faces a long road ahead, while expressing his gratitude to those who saved his life.
It’s been a big 6 wks. On 4th August I suffered a Type A aortic dissection, a rare but serious condition. I required emergency surgery and from there a range of complications ensued and I ended up suffering a spinal stroke. A long road ahead, but I’m grateful to be here. pic.twitter.com/ylRoz2HmPF— Chris Cairns (@chriscairns168) September 19, 2021
Cairns said: "Just about six weeks ago I suffered a Type A aortic dissection which essentially means there's a tear in one of my arteries of the heart.
"I had several surgeries and grafts, and very thankfully, the specialists were able to save the heart itself."
He added: "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.
"Huge thanks to the team here at Canberra Hospital, to St Vincent's in Sydney, the surgeons, the doctors, the nurses, the specialists – you saved my life.
"Thanks also to all the well wishes that have been sent through to Mel, my wife, and I. Uplifting, humbling and so, so special."
Between 1989 and 2006, Cairns played 62 Tests, 215 ODIs and two Twenty20 games for the Black Caps. His father Lance also played cricket for New Zealand.