Sunny Garcia is out of a coma, according to family friend Janae Twisselman on a GoFundMe page set up for the legendary surfer.
“A long overdue update on Sunny,” Twisselman posted on the site Monday. “We are taking one day at a time and celebrating each little triumph. Sunny is a warrior and fighting every day to get better and stronger. He has said a few words and is now in therapy daily — physical, speech and occupational. The family thanks you for your continued support for Sunny as he continues to heal. It’s going to be a marathon not a sprint but we work every day to make sure he is surrounded with love, laughter and ohana.”
There are photos of Garcia on the site with family members at his side.
It was widely reported — and corroborated by friend and rival Kelly Slater in a June ABC News interview — that Garcia attempted suicide April 29 in Oregon. He was unresponsive and in critical condition before his slow improvement. In addition, he underwent tracheostomy and lung surgeries for pneumonia before being taken off of life support to breathe on his own about a month after his hospitalization.
The GoFundMe page raised more than $100,000, and Garcia’s family has been inundated with social media prayers and get-well wishes.
In early July, Garcia’s family moved him to a California hospital.
Garcia was a shining star among Native Hawaiians in the surfing world during his legendary career, which began at age 16 in 1986. He won a record six Triple Crown of Surfing championships, and his 22 victories on the World Surf League’s qualifying series are also an all-time high.