Noteworthy former Black Caps player, Chris Cairns, makes progressive steps towards recovery, revealing a video on social media showcasing him maneuvering with crutches, persevering despite a serious heart attack in 2021.
This event follows a prior video posted to his Instagram, demonstrating his growing strength as he achieved standing independently for just a handful of moments.
The 52-year-old sports veteran succumbed to a bound state in a wheelchair after a grievous spinal stroke, a dreadful aftermath of an aortic dissection— a tearing of the body’s main artery’s inner layer— triggering devastating heart failure. A few months later, his physical ordeal amplified with a disheartening diagnosis of bowel cancer.
Persistent and invigorated, Cairns once again took center stage on Instagram, this time celebrating a further stride towards recovery: strolling a few strides aided by crutches.
In a heartfelt message he shares, “As well as meeting the remarkable John Maclean (man, what an inspirational bloke)… today was just unreal. Huge thanks to Daz and Paul from @neuromuscular_o… two men helping people improve their lives… both of you are Champions. Just keep moving it forwards… inch by inch… and smash a ceiling or two on the way… (please excuse the semi-nudity and chicken legs).”
With numerous surgeries, chemotherapy, and extensive rehabilitation behind him, Cairns looked back upon a perilous year of constant struggle and survival last year.
Recalling that first day he was rushed to the hospital suffering an aortic dissection that changed every facet of his life and the lives around him, Cairns shares his three main takeaways from this journey:
He emphasizes setting the direction, not the destination, like using a compass over a GPS. Cairns has accepted that there will be unplanned halts, delays, and detours.
Secondly, life unravels between plans. Cairns acknowledges the need to live in the present, focusing on the tiny joys of life that add up to make significant moments, rather than constantly gazing into the future or dwelling on potential past mistakes.
His third takeaway revolves around discovering a purpose. He asserts that one’s past does not necessarily dictate their future. Encouraging others with his tumultuous journey, Cairns sees his survival, despite medical odds, as a gift he aims to pay forward.
In a candid chat with the Between Two Beers podcast, Cairns articulated a new, optimistic perspective towards life, as he determinedly basks in the grace of a second chance.
In his words, “I’m no different from anyone else… there’s no secret recipe. It’s choice, fundamentally. The human race is gifted with an asset in the mind that allows you to choose your reaction to any situation. The most vital thing we possess is often untapped. It’s simple to play the victim, to blame others… to be the unfortunate. I never let that mentality seep in. Maybe that resilience has been fostered through cricket or other aspects of my life… the aspect of choice has always been of utmost importance. I do have moments of vulnerability, times when I crumble. But I strive to pull myself out of such states swiftly. In the end, the key rests within choice and purpose.”