Former New Zealand all-rounder Chris Cairns is going through very difficult times. The all-rounder had suffered an aortic dissection in his heart a few months back and needed several open heart surgeries to save his life. While Cairns survived the attack, he suffered a spinal stroke on the operating table that left him paralysed in the lower part of his body. Cairns is currently undergoing rehab at the University of Canberra Hospital. Cairns admitted that he is not sure he will be able to ever walk again but is happy to be still alive.
“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 also revealed what happened on the 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.”
While Cairns is hopeful that someday he will be able to walk again, he is not running from the harsh reality that the dream may never come true 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.