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Chris Cairns paralysed after stroke during heart surgery

The former allrounder will undertake "a significant rehabilitation process" at a specialist hospital

Chris Cairns during his final Test, England vs New Zealand, Trent Bridge, June 12, 2004

Chris Cairns has returned to Canberra after treatment in Sydney  •  PA Photos/Getty Images

Former New Zealand allrounder Chris Cairns is paralysed in his legs after suffering a stroke in his spine following emergency heart surgery in Sydney, New Zealand media reported on Friday.
Cairns, 51, had returned to his home city Canberra but remained in a serious condition, reports said, citing a statement from his lawyer Aaron Lloyd.
"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," the statement said. "As a result he will be undertaking a significant rehabilitation process at a specialist spinal hospital in Australia.
"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."
Cairns, the son of former Test player Lance Cairns, played 62 Tests and 215 ODIs for New Zealand between 1989 and 2006.
He came off life support last week after surgery at a Sydney hospital. New Zealand media reported Cairns had suffered an aortic dissection - a tear in the body's main artery - in Canberra earlier this month.