“I miss you my brother. Rest in paradise.”
In a perfect world, the story of Kalani David, son of the American David David and the Costa Rican Maureen Rojas, would have ended in a world title or sorta equivalent triumph.
As it is, the life of Kalani, living with a chronic illness that would eventually kill him, demonstrates, as if demonstration were needed, the chaos and randomness of our existence.
His biological mum Maureen was sixteen when she had Kalani, seeded when dad David lived in Central America.
Flooded with sponsor money by RVCA as a child, Kalani was billed as the world’s first true crossover surfer, skateboarder.
When he was eighteen, Kalani’s heart stopped while skating in Oceanside, California, with tests determining the child suffered from Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, where extra muscle forms over the heart causing it to race wildly
The doctors told him he was living on the edge, that he could die at any moment. And if it happened in waves, he couldn’t do anything. He would drown.
In January 2017, doctors cut the child open to try to fix the problem.
Prior to the operation, Kalani wrote,
“I am having surgery today, but I have one thing to say before that happens… The doctor said I was lucky to still be alive after a seizure lasting more than 6 hours. Which I was dead for 2 days. I’m going into heart surgery right now to burn off that extra piece of muscle. I have to get on with my life and focus on my career. I love you Keoni, just know that I’m always here for you, I love you boo boo your big brother Kalani.
Although vastly underrated in the surfing world, Kalani’s fans were legion.
Two weeks ago he posted a skate clip on Instagram which has now become a place where friends leave their tributes after his death in Costa Rica yesterday.