Professional surfer Kalani David dies after suffering seizure while surfing

SAN JOSÉ, Costa Rica — The surfing community is in mourning after Kalani David died while doing what he loved.

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David’s father, David David, confirmed his son’s death to CNN saying that Kalani was surfing off the coast of Costa Rica when he suffered a seizure.

Kalani David had previously disclosed that he’d suffered seizures before, saying in a June Instagram post: “With these seizures I keep having my neurologist said no driving and no surfing until I stop having them. I mean I could surf but, if I was to have one and don’t get saved in time I’ll either die or become a vegetable because I don’t have enough air to my brain.”

David was a highly accomplished surfer, winning team and individual golds at the 2012 ISA World Junior Surfing Championship at 14 years old, CNN reported.

Authorities in Costa Rica confirmed to The Associated Press that David had been surfing “when he apparently suffered some kind of epileptic seizure and drowned. The death is under investigation,” NBC News reported.

David suffered from Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, the Herald Sun reported.

Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome is a rare heart defect that can cause rapid heartbeats and can result in death in children and young adults, according to the Mayo Clinic.

In 2016, David suffered a seizure while skateboarding that caused his heart to stop beating, the Herald Sun reported. Another seizure later that year lasted six hours and nearly killed him.

David had heart surgery in 2019 to help address the seizures, CNN reported.

Filmmaker Peter King honored David in a tribute on Instagram, saying: “Only God knows His timing. Life isn’t easy. Always battling. Always learning. Heartbreaking News.”