Former New Zealand cricketer left paralysed after stroke during heart surgery

Former New Zealand cricketer Chris Cairns has been left paralysed after suffering a stroke during emergency heart surgery.

The ex-all-rounder needed emergency surgery at a Sydney hospital earlier this month after suffering an aortic dissection – a tear in the body's main artery – in Canberra.

Cairns was briefly placed on life support following the surgery, but was taken off it and was able to communicate with his family.

The 51-year-old has now returned home but is still in a very serious condition.

His lawyer Aaron Lloyd released a statement regarding Cairns’ wellbeing.

It began: “During the life-saving emergency heart surgery Chris underwent in Sydney he suffered a stroke in his spine. This has resulted in paralysis in his legs.

"As a result he will be undertaking a significant rehabilitation process at a specialist spinal hospital in Australia.”

It continued: "Chris and his family remain appreciative of the immense public support as they deal with this difficult time. They also appreciate the way in which their privacy has been respected.

"Chris and his family now want to focus on spending time together where possible and making whatever progress they can in his recovery.

“We will update everyone when there is more news, but that is likely to be some time away."

Regarded as one of the finest all-rounders of his generation, Cairns, the son of former test player Lance Cairns, played 62 tests and 215 ODIs for New Zealand between 1989 and 2006.

In 1999, he became the second ever player in history to score a century in his 100th ODI.

Cairns was part of the victorious New Zealand campaign during the 2000 ICC Knockout Trophy.

In that same year, he was named as one of five Wisden Cricketers of the Year.

After Cairns retired in 2006, he became a commentator with Sky Sport New Zealand.

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