World Champion surfer Sunny Garcia was reportedly rushed to an ICU unit in a hospital following a reported suicide attempt.
A Brazilian news outlet had initially reported that the legendary Hawaiian surfer — who won the 2000 world championship and is the six-time Vans Triple Crown of Surfing champion — had died.
This led to many tributes being paid from fans on social media. However, the report of his death was disputed by friends and the World Surf League later confirmed on Twitter that Garcia was in the ICU fighting for his life.
With heavy hearts we confirm that Sunny Garcia is in the ICU in the hospital. Sunny has always been a great champion of surfing, both in and out of the water. Our prayers are with him and his loved ones at this deeply challenging time. pic.twitter.com/re0F3l9toI
— World Surf League (@wsl) April 30, 2019
About a month ago, Sunny Garcia opened up about depression and mental illness on his official Instagram account. “Doesn’t matter what kind of mental illness you suffer from, we all suffer in silence and deal with it best we can and most people that don’t suffer can’t understand the pain and frustration that we go through.”
The Surfing legend also detailed his personal battle with depression.
“I have an incredible life surrounded by people that love and care for me, and I get to travel to beautiful places to surf and meet different people from all over the world but I can tell you when I get down that none of that matters.”
View this post on Instagram
Doesn’t matter what kind of mental illness you suffer from, we all suffer in silence and deal with it best we can and most people that don’t suffer can’t understand the pain and frustration that we go through:( I have a incredible life surrounded by people that love and care for me, and I get to travel to beautiful places to surf and meet different people from all over the world but I can tell you when I get down that none of that matters. I just feel like nothing or anyone can help me at the particular time so I just keep sharing my feelings hoping that it helps any of you out there that suffers from anything and encourage you to reach out and talk to others like yourself because this life can really be beautiful. If we all just talk and let it out so others see that it’s ok to share and we are not alone in this suffering:) spent the morning curled in my dark closet feeling like I just didn’t want to be here anymore but I know that this shitty feeling will leave and my day will get better and I hope you all know that your days will get better as well. you just need to find what gets you through those moments in life🙏🏽 hope you all have a great day. Also thank you to everyone that has reached out and shared with me on my page I really appreciate all the love and support
The details surrounding Garcia’s death have not been revealed, but he is said to be in a critical condition in a hospital in Oregon, according to Coastal Watch.
Sunny Garcia grew up in Wai’anae and made his professional debut at age 16. The 49-year-old surfer was most recently married to Colleen McMullough but has three children Kaila, Logan, and Stone with his first wife Angela.
The pro surfer has been open about his depression on social media, urging his fans to get help if they are suffering from mental illness.
If you or someone you know need help, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
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