Child Prodigy Skater And Surfer Kalani David Died After ‘Epileptic Seizure’ While Surfing in Costa Rica


San José, Costa Rica–Former world junior surfing champion Kalani David Feeney Barrientos died on Saturday, September 17, after a seizure while practicing the sport in Playa Hermosa in Jacó. He was 24 years old.

Popularly known by his first name — Kalani — the surfer was born in Hawaii and had Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome. This congenital heart condition can lead to seizures and paralysis in individuals.

Kalani won the Junior World Surfing title in Panama in the under-16 category in 2012. He also competed in skateboarding circuits.

Judicial Investigation Agency told Associated Press that the child prodigy was surfing when he “apparently suffered some kind of epileptic seizure and drowned.”

One of the firsts to disclose the surfer’s death was filmmaker and photographer Peter King.

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A post shared by Peter King (@peterkingphoto)

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“Oh friend, I love you Kalani! Only God knows the times of him. Life is not easy. Always fighting. Always learning,” he captioned an Instagram post of Kalani in adulthood, walking along the coast with a surfboard.

Freesurf magazine shared the update on its Facebook page, saying Kalani had “literally hundreds if not thousands of trophies.”

According to a report, Kalani’s heart condition came to light after he suffered a seizure while skating in Oceanside, California, in August 2016. The condition only worsened. Later that year, he had a six-hour seizure at his home in Oahu, Hawaii. He underwent surgery the following to remove the growth of the extra muscle contributing to the seizures.


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