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Did Kalani David Die From Vaccine Seizure?!

Did Hawaiian surfing champion Kalani David die from a seizure caused by the COVID-19 vaccine?!

Take a look at the viral claims, and find out what the facts really are!


Claim : Surfing Champ Kalani David Died From Vaccine!

Within hours of news breaking that Kalani David died from a seizure out on the ocean, anti-vaccination activists started claiming that his seizure was caused by the COVID-19 vaccine.

Here are a few examples on social media :

Kalani David, 24, dies after having a seizure out on the water #CrimesAgainstHumanity 💉

Le surfeur hawaïen Kalani David décède à 24 ans 💉💉💉💉💉

Surf-skateboard prodigy Kalani David reported dead at 24 Vexed?


Truth : Surfing Champ Kalani David Did NOT Die From Vaccine!

It’s becoming a tradition for anti-vaccination activists to immediately blame all athlete deaths or injuries on the COVID-19 vaccine.

This is yet another example of FAKE NEWS created and propagated by anti-vaccination activists, and here are the reasons why… and the current facts that we know so far.

Fact #1 : Kalani David Drowned After Having A Seizure Out At Sea

Kalani David Feeney Barrientos drowned after suffering a seizure while he was surfing in the ocean off Costa Rica on Saturday, September 17, 2022.

The Costa Rica Judicial Investigation Department confirmed that he drowned, stating:

He was surfing when he apparently suffered some kind of epileptic seizure and drowned. The death is still under investigation.

Fact #2 : His Mother Confirmed He Died From His Seizure

Kalani David’s mother, Andrea David, organised a GoFundMe to raise funds to bring his body back to the United States, so he can be buried next to his grandfather in Florida.

In that GoFundMe page, she confirmed that he “died of a massive seizure“. She noticeably did not mention the COVID-19 vaccine as a cause.

Our son is laying in wait at a morgue in San Jose, Costa Rica. He died of a massive seizure while surfing a remote area on Saturday, September 17.

Fact #3 : Kalani David Had Wolf-Parkinson-White Syndrome

Kalani David was diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome, a congenital condition that causes the heart to beat abnormally fast.

The rapid heart rate, called supra-ventricular tachycardia (SVT), causes episodes of palpitations, shortness of breath, chest pain and fainting. It can present with seizures in some patients.

By itself, WPW can cause sudden death through atrial or ventricular fibrillation. Coupled with seizures, it makes for a very dangerous situation.

Fact #4 : Kalani David Was Warned Against Surfing / Driving

Months before he died, he was warned by his neurologist to avoid surfing or driving, after suffering multiple seizures.

In a prescient June 22, 2022 Instagram post, he shared that his doctor warned him that if he had a seizure while surfing, he will either die or “become a vegetable”.

He also mentioned that he suffered from those seizures quite often, even when he was sleeping.

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.

I keep getting lucky, I had a seizure driving and the other in the water within a couple months. The past couple years been having seizures sleeping and just Angels watching over me cause idk how I keep getting so lucky and living thru it all. Time to get this stuff in order so I can move ahead in life, at least I can skate and fish!

Fact #5 : Kalani David Almost Died TWICE In 2016

When Kalani David had his first seizure in August 2016, he was skateboarding. He immediately fell on his face, unconscious, with his heart stopped. Fortunately, he was revived in an ambulance, but he suffered another 3 seizures in the hospital.

I was just skating Prince Park in Oceanside, I was working on a run, and right after I finished my run I told my friend, “I don’t feel good. I feel really weird.”

That’s the last thing I remember, but I guess right then mmy heart stopped and I fell over, smashed my face on the asphalt. When I woke up I was in the ambulance, then I passed back out. When I woke up the next time I was in the ER.

He also shared a photo of himself recovering from that 2016 seizure. That photo, sadly, is being misused by some websites which are claiming that it’s a photo of Kalani David dying / lying dead in the hospital in 2022.

Hence, I have no choice but to plaster a misleading overlay to prevent this photo from being further abused.

Just before Christmas 2016, he suffered another seizure. This time, while he was sleeping. He ended up seizing for about 6 hours before a friend found him.

He spent two days in a medically-induced coma, and underwent an open-heart surgery to try and “burn off” the extra electrical pathway in his heart.

I’ve been born with this heart disease and now with all the stress and emotions it’s been triggered. The doctor said I’m lucky to even be alive after seizing for more than 6 hours. Which I was dead for 2 days.

I’m going into heart surgery right now to get this extra piece of muscle burned. I gotta move on with my life and focus on my career

Fact #6 : Unknown If Kalani David Was Vaccinated

It is currently unknown if Kalani David was vaccinated against COVID-19, so it would be wrong for anyone to claim that he died from COVID-19 vaccine side effects.

For all we know – he may not even be vaccinated! The COVID-19 vaccine is not mandatory in the United States, despite what anti-vaccination activists may claim.

And Costa Rica no longer requires travellers to show proof of vaccination, or a negative COVID-19 test.

Fact #7 : COVID-19 Vaccines Proven Safe + Effective

COVID-19 vaccines underwent massive clinical trials, and were only approved after they were proven to be safe and effective.

In addition, they were constantly monitored after they received their approvals, which picked up rare side effects after they were administered to billions of people.

Anti-vaccination activists have often claimed that those who received the vaccine would die. Yet, the opposite was true – the vaccines are not only safe, they are effective in protecting people from getting hospitalised or dying from COVID-19.

Even prominent antivaxxer Steve Kirsch is healthy and well, despite being fully-vaccinated against COVID-19!

Read more : Antivax Steve Kirsch Admits He’s Fully-Vaccinated!

Fact #8 : Claims Of Athletes Dying From COVID-19 Vaccine Proven False

This is yet another example of anti-vaccination activists abusing athlete deaths / injuries to create and propagate FAKE NEWS about the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines.

So far, claims of athlete deaths / injuries due to the COVID-19 vaccine have been proven false at every instance.

Will these anti-vaccination activists apologise for lying to you? Nope! They will just move on to the next athlete tragedy…

Please help us FIGHT FAKE NEWS by sharing this fact check article out, and please SUPPORT our work!

Don’t forget to protect yourself, and your family, by vaccinating against COVID-19!


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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.


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