Below Deck Med chef Dave White broke his back after filming and couldn’t walk

Below Deck Med chef Dave White back injury and spine surgery

Below Deck Med chef Dave White revealed on the show that he has a passion for extreme sports and taking risks. That passion, combined with a desire to help others, resulted in Dave breaking his back and getting spinal surgery soon after filming for Below Deck Med Season 7.

“I won the British ski championships in freestyle skiing in 2014,” Dave said on screen during the Premiere. “A little skydiving, climbed Everest. I’ve cheated death so many times it’s a joke.” In a later episode, Dave took a risk in the galley and used that as a segue to talk more about his risk taking outside the kitchen.

“I do so much extreme stuff. I could be in an avalanche, or my chute’s not going to open when I jump out of the plane, or I do a base jump and my cord’s gonna twist. So yeah, I do gamble.”

Below Deck Med Chef David White back surgery

Dave White Back Injury Details

After the yachting season was over, 34-year-old Dave went back to his extreme sporting ways. His Instagram posts included photos and videos of himself hiking up, then skiing down, a Swedish mountain, chilling with pals (including Zee and Storm) in Barcelona, and surfing in Mexico.

On November 30, Dave shared a photo of himself and a group of others in an airplane prior to jumping out. “Time to fly 🪰,” he captioned the photo, along with a string of hash tags that included #extremesports, #extreme, #adrenaline, #adventure, #gopro, #sport, #skydiving, #sports, #skydive, #actionsports, #life, #fun, #fly, #watersports, #nature, #travel, #parachute, #extremesport, #photography and #adrenalinejunkie.

Less than a week later, Dave broke his back. It’s unclear exactly what Dave was doing when he injured his back, but he was in the process of training in hopes of climbing Mount Everest to raise awareness for CALM, which stands for the Campaign Against Living Miserably.

“So, on the 5th of December, I broke my back,” Dave recapped on April 4. “I thought that was it, my Everest dream was over… but the surgery was a success, they fused my spine with titanium and with the help of great friends and my determination not to give up, the rehabilitation worked a treat and I was back on my feet in no time.”

Dave shared images and videos throughout his recovery, including a rather graphic photo of his stitched up back after the surgery. (Click the link for that image.) Below are some more photos after Dave’s surgery and during his rehab.

Below Deck Med Chef Dave White back injury

Chef Dave White spine x-rays

Below Deck Malta Chef Dave White spine surgery rehab

Below Deck chef Dave spine surgery rehab
Amazingly, Dave was back to living on the edge within weeks! Check out his post from January 12 after he returned to skiing well before the surgeon recommended:

After skiing, Dave headed down to South America where he did some hiking in Peru. Then it was up to California to jump out of a hot air balloon:

By March, Dave was back in the mountains and the snow as he continued to train for his Mount Everest climb in April. Unfortunately, that plan had to be delayed.

“I’m going to postpone my expedition of Mount Everest till 2023,” Dave announced in April. “I’m still going to fundraise for CALM and raise awareness for mental health, I’m just going to [delay the climb] ’til 2023, and instead I’m going to put all my efforts and time into cooking for all the Ukraine refugees who lost their homes and have been split up from their loved ones.”

Chef Dave White Cooks For Ukraine

Chef Dave headed to the border of Ukraine and Poland in early April. He took a break, then headed back in late July. According to an Instagram post from earlier today, he is currently there.

Here is Dave’s update on April 11 after being there for less than a week:

Over the last 6 weeks #chefsforukraine @wckitchen has prepared and served over 5 million meals to the Ukraine 🇺🇦 refugees!

It’s been an incredible and heart breaking experience.. with thousands of families, woman and children losing there homes and being forced to evacuated and run for there life’s with knowhere to go. I have met some incredible inspirational, talented individuals on this journey who have dropped everything to come to the aid of this war and hopefully will provide enough hope in the mean time ❤️🙏🇺🇦💪

I can only look on in astonishment at all Dave has accomplished over the past year! Being a cast member on a hugely popular reality show ranks waaaaay down on the list!

In all seriousness, kudos to Dave for fighting through his own struggles (including depression and a broken back) in order to try to help others deal with theirs. It’s hard to think of a more admirable thing a person could do. Well, maybe a ten course meal for charter guests AND the captain? 😉

To check out chef Dave White’s extreme risk taking in the HOME galley, be sure to keep tuning in for new episodes of Below Deck Mediterranean airing Monday nights at 8/7c on Bravo — or streaming a week early on Peacock.

Asa Hawks is a writer and editor for Starcasm. You can contact Asa via Twitter, Facebook, or email at starcasmtips(at)

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