World-renowned surfer and skateboarder Kalani David has passed away at the age of 24. The Hawaii native was surfing along a coast in Costa Rica on September 17 when he suffered a seizure and died.
The surfer had a syndrome called Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW), which is defined as a “condition in which there is an extra electrical pathway in the heart that leads to periods of rapid heart rate (tachycardia).”
Kalani David Dies of Seizure
WPW is a congenital heart defect, which is generally not life-threatening but in rare cases, can lead to cardiac death. The condition is found in one to three out of every 1000 people. As per John Hopkins Medicine, “The biggest risk is for sudden death from a heart attack, which tachycardia can cause. However, this is extremely rare, occurring in less than one-half of one per cent of case.”
David started making a name for himself from a very young age. He was only 14 when he was ranked among the best skateboarders in the world. David was also an accomplished surfer, and he died doing what he loved: surfing.
Kalani Suffered a Life-Threatening Seizure in 2016 as well
The surfer had a long battle with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome. Earlier in August 2016, he suffered a seizure during skating at a park in Oceanside, California. He was still recovering at his home in Oahu when at the end of the year, he had another seizure, a six-hour-long one.
Kalani almost died at the time but luckily survived. He was admitted to the hospital and spent the next two days in a medically induced coma. He then underwent open-heart surgery in 2017 to remove the extra muscle that had grown on his heart and was causing frequent seizure episodes.
Friends Pay Tributes to the Skateboarder
Ever since the news of Kalani’s unfortunate demise broke, his friends have been paying tributes and expressing their grief on social media. Surfer Kelly Skater wrote on his Instagram, “Kalani was one of the most talented … surfer/skater on Earth, constantly pushing the limits every time he was on his feet. Condolences to the huge community of friends Kalani had coast to coast and across the globe”.
Kalani’s friend and photographer Peter King also expressed his condolences and wrote on social media, “Love you Kalani. Only God knows His timing. Life isn’t easy. Always battling. Always Learning. Heartbreaking News… He had a massive seizure while surfing.”
He continued, “He had re-connected with family there [in Costa Rica] and was having such a great time. I’ll always remember how much hope you had for the future. God Bless the family and extended family who were always there for you.”
Another friend and photographer, Patrick Eichstaedt, wrote, “I met you when you were 6 lil brother and knew you were a special human being with some of the most raw talent I had ever seen…I’m so grateful our journey’s crossed… My heart goes out to all the family and the world of friends you had.”
He added, “Seeing you earlier this year was truly special, and I will cherish all our memories… my son still wears your hat and we will keep it forever bud! Fly high and stay stoked my man.”
Kalani will surely be remembered for his contributions to the skateboarding and surfing world. Our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.