I’m so lucky to be alive, don’t know what happens next: Chris Cairns


Canberra, 14 November

Wheelchair-bound former New Zealand all-rounder Chris Cairns says he is “very lucky to be alive”, three months after a medical emergency left him on life support.

The 51-year-old is currently recovering from a spinal trauma that left his groin paralyzed, after several complicated surgeries.

“We don’t know what’s going to happen next. I don’t know whether I’ll walk or not, I don’t know whether I’ll stand or not. But I can stand. I can walk. The only option is to keep going. That’s it. That I’m not even lucky to be (alive). I’m very lucky,” Cairns was quoted as saying by The Canberra Times.

As he opens his life for fear, Cairns is besieged by his wife, Melanie.

Son of Lance Cairns, who was also an all-rounder for the New Zealand team in the 1970s and ’80s, Cairns Jr. suffered a major medical emergency—an aortic dissection—in August and was transferred to a specialist hospital in Sydney. where he had life-saving emergency heart surgery before suffering more complications due to a spinal stroke.

Aortic dissection is a serious medical condition in which a tear occurs in the inner lining of the body’s main artery (aorta).

He has been “cleared to begin using his chest and arms for the first time in three months as he continues his recovery”.

“The amazing thing going through this is the persistence to keep going in case it comes back. You have to be prepared,” Cairns said.

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.

His wife Melanie said, “Chris didn’t have a stroke just one day and[was]two weeks of being so close to[death]. So we start from a place of gratitude, and then what we do.” Anything you get back is just an addition.

“He’s here, he’s still that. Yes, there are challenges physically, but at the gym he said (to the staff) you show me the bar and I’ll break it.

“He’s super motivated to be back on the tennis court with our daughter, whether he’s running around or in a wheelchair. He’s still going to try to beat her, that’s it. That’s what motivates her to do something like this.” Puts you in a really good place to try to tackle that sort of thing.” Regarding New Zealand’s chances in the T20 World Cup final against Australia, Cairns said the country’s cricket is “very, very healthy”.

“I played with (New Zealand coach) Gary Stead at Canterbury for a decade. He is one of the unsung heroes. For the last two years I mean, you know, New Zealand cricket has been very, very healthy. PTI