New Zealand cricket legend Chris Cairns has taken to social media in a heartfelt family tribute as he continues his miraculous recovery from three devastating health blows.
Cairns has suffered from a heart attack, spinal stroke and, more recently, bowel cancer.
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But those issues briefly faded into the background when Cairns’ daughter, Izzy, appeared at the tennis.
The former all-rounder posted about a “proud parent moment” when Izzy was invited to toss the coin at the Australian Open before the women’s singles quarter-final match between Jess Pegula and Victoria Azarenka.
Cairns took to Instagram and Twitter in an emotional post and said he was proud of his daughter.
“Proud parent moment … our 11yo daughter Izzy had the privilege to toss the coin tonight on court at the Tennis Australia AO QF between Jess Pegula and @vichka35 inspirational athletes…,” Cairns wrote on Instagram, with a picture of the two players and his daughter after the coin toss.“I never used to understand why my Mum would be so excited when I played…now I get it and our daughter hasn’t even started the journey yet!!❤️”
The posts received plenty of love and support from fans and professional athletes.
“Amazing,” Australian-born British professional tennis player Brydan Klein wrote on Instagram.
“Superb Chris!!! My youngest was one of five members of the Australian Girls’ Choir who sang the anthem at ANZ stadium for a Bledisloe Cup match a few years ago. Indescribable pride. Keep battling, my friend. There are no athletes more inspirational than you,” author Grant Williams wrote on Twitter.
“I admire you Chris. Watched you play. You were among the best all rounders. I wish you the best of health going forward. Cheers,” media entrepreneur Arup Ghosh said on Twitter.
After a heart attack in August 2021, the 52-year-old suffered an aortic dissection, which occurs when a tear occurs in the inner layer of the body’s main artery, the aorta, that forced him into life support in Sydney.
Cairns was left paralysed in his legs following a stroke in his spine during life-saving emergency heart surgery.
In another blow to Cairns’ health, he was diagnosed with bowel cancer last February.
The cricket icon recently shared a health update on social media that showed him being able to stand and walk.
Cairns played 62 Tests, 215 one-day internationals and two Twenty20 matches for New Zealand between 1989 and 2006.
His father Lance also played cricket for New Zealand.
He has lived in Canberra with his wife and children for several years.
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