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Update: Sunny Garcia Heads into Surgery, GoFundMe Still Active

Garcia at a 2009 ASP World Championship Tour event in Oahu, Hawaii. mpwnelson photo.

From his daughter Kaila's Instagram: "Good morning! My dad @sunnygarcia is headed to surgery right now as I type this. He is getting a Trach/PEG done which has pretty much been explained to me as just a more comfortable breathing/food tube put in. His vitals are awesome right now and the Doctors expect everything to go very smooth. I just wanted to ask for everyone’s prayers as my dad heads to surgery. Lord please with my dad during surgery. Please keep him safe, let him feel no pain, and bring peace to his mind body and soul AMEN. I LOVE YOU DAD #PrayForSunny"

Sunny Garcia's family has also set up a GoFundMe to help cover medical costs associated with his hospitalization. Garcia is still in hospital care in Oregon. 

If you would like to donate, the GoFundMe can be found here.

From the page: "The Garcia family would like to send a big Mahalo to everyone who has been praying for Sunny. Your prayers are reaching him, and there are no words to express how thankful the family is for all of your kind messages and support during this difficult time. They would like to ask everyone to keep praying for Sunny as he fights to recover."

The surf world is sending messages of love and support to Sunny Garcia, who was recently hospitalized at a Portland-area ICU. Details as to what put him in the hospital have not yet been released.

Garcia is a legend in the world of surfing. He was the ASP Men's World Champion of Surfing in 2000, has won six Triple Crown of Surfing titles, and holds the all-time record for most World Qualification Series victories — an astounding 22. He was a dominant force on the World Tour throughout the late-1990s and early-2000s, surfing alongside superstars like the Irons brothers, Rob Machado, Kelly Slater, and Shane Dorian.

Related: Learn more about Garcia's struggles with mental health in this TGR interview

However, Garcia's success in the world of surfing has been at odds with his personal struggles: He has dealt with poverty, an abusive childhood, drug problems, three marriages, a stint in jail, and depression.

For many years, he had kept quiet about his depression, choosing to fight the battle alone. However, in December 2014 he posted a photo on Instagram that said, “I’m not as strong as everyone thinks I am,” and revealed to his followers that he was battling depression.

His followers responded with an overwhelming message of support. “I can’t tell you how many people got back to me,” said Garcia in an interview with TGR. “That is ultimately what really helped me.” He sought professional help and enrolled in a support group in Arizona where he poured his heart out to strangers. “No one really talks about depression,” he said. “Most men won’t bring that up to anyone.”

Social media has been flooded with messages of love and hope from the many people who know Garcia or have been inspired by his surfing and story, and TGR joins them in wishing Garcia a swift recovery.

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