Chris Cairns’ wife reacts to news of cricket great’s distressing health battle

Chris Cairns’ wife Melanie has spoken out over her husband’s condition as the New Zealand cricket great recuperates in an Australian hospital following heart surgery.

It’s understood Cairns, 51, collapsed, having suffered a massive heart attack last week in Canberra — resulting in an aortic dissection, a tear in the inner layer of the body’s main artery.

Melanie Cairns confirmed her husband has been transferred to a Sydney hospital to undergo further surgery.

“As has now been widely reported in the media, Chris suffered a major medical event in Canberra late last week. He initially underwent surgery in Canberra, but the seriousness of his condition is such that he has now been transferred to St Vincent’s hospital in Sydney, where he has undergone further cardiovascular surgery,” Melanie said in a statement.

“Chris’ family and friends are heartened by the respectful and warm manner in which this terrible news has been reported, and received by the public, both in New Zealand and around the world, and thanks everyone for their warm wishes, prayers, and kind words.

“For now, no further statements will be made regarding Chris’ situation, and the Cairns family asks that people continue to respect their privacy as they deal with this difficult, upsetting and concerning situation.”

Chris Cairns and his wife Mel.Source:Getty Images

The cricket world was shocked by news of Cairns’ condition.Source:Getty Images

New Zealand Cricket CEO David White said in a statement: “We’re deeply concerned to hear of Chris Cairns’ medical emergency. Our thoughts are with his family in Australia and here in New Zealand. Chris is a much loved husband, father, and son – and remains one of our finest all-rounders. We hope he’s able to make a full recovery.”

Cairns, the son of Black Caps legend Lance Cairns, was a right-hand batsman and fast-medium bowler. He was known as one of the finest all-rounders of his generation.

Cairns has been living and working in Canberra with his wife and their children for several years.

He has been the chief executive of SmartSportz, a company specialising in virtual sport.

Cairns had to rebuild his life after walking out of Southwark Crown Court in London in 2015 after being found not guilty of perjury and perverting the course of justice charges in relation to match-fixing allegations, which took a huge toll on the cricketer’s life.

Former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum — who testified against his former teammate in the 2015 perjury trial — was among the many to send messages of support to Cairns and his family.

Cairns is a Kiwi cricketing legend.Source:AFP

“It’s a difficult subject to obviously talk about. We haven’t seen each other for quite a long time,” McCullum said on his SENZ Breakfast show.

“We’ve been reflecting on just how fine a cricketer he was when the news came through and what he did for the game and New Zealand cricket throughout his career as well. Our relationship is unimportant in the whole thing, the fact is that Chris is a father and also a son to Lance and Sue. They’ve already had such tragedy in their life with the loss of Chris’ sister a long time ago as well.

“It’s a really difficult time for those people and I know the cricket community and all those who support the Cairns family will be suffering right now. Today my family and myself are thinking of those people who are suffering.”

Former Black Caps teammate Andre Adams said on social media his “thoughts and prayers are with Chris and his family”.

“Horrid situation and hoping for the best,” he wrote on Twitter.

This story first appeared on the NZ Herald and was reproduced with permission

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