'Finally heading home': Chris Cairns discharged from hospital

Former Black Caps star Chris Cairns has been discharged from hospital almost five months after suffering a life-threatening heart attack and paralysis in August last year.

Cairns' heart attack resulted in an aortic dissection, or a tear in the inner layer of the body's main artery and the 51-year-old had to undergo emergency surgery as a result. However, during the life-saving operation, Cairns suffered a stroke in his spine, resulting in paralysis in both his legs.

Cairns has since been recovering at a special rehabilitation facility at the University of Canberra in Australia and sharing his recovery journey via his social media channels.

On Friday night Cairns revealed that he finally gets to go home.

"A bittersweet farewell. After 141 days as an inpatient at UniCanberra Hospital, I am finally heading home for good," Cairns posted on Twitter.

"Thank you again to the incredible staff. The next phase starts Monday as an outpatient at Brindabella. I look forward to working with the team."

Cairns accompanied the post with images of him standing beside a wheelchair outside the hospital entrance as well a touching moment with his son.

Earlier this month, Cairns revealed he had begun to take steps again, with the aide of a walking frame and his physical therapy team.

"It ain't pretty, but it's progress. Working hard since I got back from Xmas break. Not in danger of winning any Olympic medals just yet, but good to be standing tall and heading in the right direction," Cairns posted alongside the video.

However, in December he revealed that the extent of his injuries means he may never walk again but that his elite sport background is helping him deal with his new reality.

"Having rehabbed during a sporting career you understand mental discipline is required. I know that some people in rehab facilities don't have that background and they struggle with motivation to get up every day. They are not seeing many gains. Having that background and single mindedness will play a role in helping me get to where I want to get to.

"It would be quite easy to give up and accept, maybe this is it. I will try and squeeze everything I can in over the next 12-24 months. Having been in a career when bones and muscles take six weeks to repair, there is no timeline here. I may get a flicker in three months in one muscle but it may take nine months.

"Your muscles atrophy over time and so then that takes time to build back up. It is one thing getting nerves to turn back on but then you have to build the muscle back up so you can stand and then walk.

"I don't know if I will ever walk again and I have made my peace with that," he says. "It is now about understanding I can lead a full and enjoyable life in a wheelchair but at the same time knowing it will be different."

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