Chris Cairns admits he might not walk again after heart surgeries and stroke

Former New Zealand all-rounder Chris Cairns has said he is "very lucky" to be alive after suffering an aortic dissection earlier this year.

Cairns underwent four separate heart surgeries but suffered from complications which led to a spinal stroke.

The 51-year-old is currently confined to a wheelchair and does not know whether he will be able to walk again.

Speaking to the Canberra Times, Cairns said: "We don't know what happens going forward. I don't know if I'll walk, I don't know if I'll stand.

"But I may stand. I may walk. The only option is to keep going. The thing is I'm not even just lucky to be [alive]. I'm very lucky.

"But we don't know what will come back. The amazing thing going through this is just the perseverance to keep going in case it comes back. You've got to be prepared."

Cairns is coming to terms with the idea that he may have to spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair and his wife Melanie says the couple are simply "grateful" that he is still alive.

"Rather than mourning a loss, we're so grateful for what we have," she said. "Chris didn't just have a stroke one day and [was gone], he had two weeks of being so close to [death].

"So we start from a place of gratefulness, and every bit we get back after that is just an extra. He's here, he's still him.

"Yes there are physically challenges, but in the gym he said [to the staff] you show me the bar and I'm going to smash it down.

"He's super motivated to get back out on the tennis court with our daughter, whether that's running around or in a wheelchair.

"He's still going to try to beat her, that's who he is. That motivation puts him in a really good place to try to tackle something like this."

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