ROCKLEDGE, Fla. - A former World Junior Surfing champion died in Costa Rica over the weekend, after suffering a seizure in the water. His father wants his son buried in Florida, where he has a family plot, but he says it's challenging.
"He was my best friend. And my baby. And I just want to be able to see him every weekend," says David David.
David is the father of professional surfer Kalani David. He was the former world junior surfing champion. David says the 24-year-old died after failing to take his medication and having a seizure while surfing in Costa Rica over the weekend. "He basically drowned on the way to the clinic with the water in his lungs because it wasn’t excavated before they left the beach."
Now he’s struggling to bring his son back home. "He’s laying in state at the morgue in San Jose Costa Rica. There’s a repatriation process you have to go through with the Embassy when a U.S. citizen is in another country."
While David says they once lived in Hawaii, he is originally from Florida and wants his son to be buried in the family plot at Florida Memorial Gardens in Rockledge. "To lay next to my father who was the head controller at NASA for many years in the late 60s and 70s."
David says it will cost around $30,000 to fly his son home and have a proper funeral and burial for him. He says he’ll do what needs to be done, to bring his boy back home. "I’m just going to max out my cards at this point and turn that corner when I can."
Kalani was also a professional skateboarder. "I’m never going to see him again. I don’t know what tomorrow looks like," David says.
David says Kalani was dealing with social issues, lost sponsorships, and was broke. He says donations are also being accepted directly to Florida Memorial Gardens under Kalani's name. He hopes to have the funeral this Sunday.