She shared the post on her Instagram page Sunday, November 21, 2021, following the boy’s long battle with autoimmune enteropathy. His exact cause of death was not immediately announced.
Fowler, of Miami, Florida, became an Internet sensation in 2019 with a 4-second viral video posted on YouTube in September. The boy asks, “Where we about to eat at?” before turning away and slumping into his car seat.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Fowler Was Diagnosed With Autoimmune Enteropathy, or AIE, as an Infant
Fowler, whose full name was Antwain Lee Fowler, was diagnosed with a rare disorder called autoimmune enteropathy, or AIE, as an infant in 2015, according to a GoFundMe page started to raise funds for his family.
“AIE is a rare immune deficiency disorder that attacks your intestines,” the page says.
The boy’s battle with the disease caused him to be hospitalized “a countless number of times” and he underwent more than 25 surgeries, the page says.
“Like normal infants Antwain was unable to drink milk, or eat solid foods during his earlier childhood,” the page says.
Fowler’s mom, who uses the name China on social media, shared a series of posts on Instagram expressing her heartbreak at the loss of her son.
“The pain in my heart is like no other Why God,” she wrote on Instagram.
“Never in a million years My heart is out my chest!!!!” she captioned the post.
According to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, autoimmune enteropathy is a disorder that causes the immune system to attack the lining of the intestines, causing ongoing stomach problems, poor growth, blood sugar and electrolyte imbalances and other symptoms. The symptoms can begin shortly after birth, the hospital said. An article published in Modern Pathology said the disorder predominantly affects male infants and described the disorder as “life threatening.” The journal did not state the life expectancy for autoimmune enteropathy.
2. Fowler Loved to Tell People He Was Famous as Soon as He Met Them
Fowler was fully aware of his Internet stardom, his mother wrote on Instagram. She wrote that he would tell people he was famous as soon as they met. He’d add a self-promotional plug, telling them to follow him on Instagram and YouTube, she wrote.
“You couldn’t tell him he wasn’t famous. That’s all he told people he came in contact with. The first thing ‘You know I’m famous,’ and follow Instagram and YouTube,” the post said.
“Jesus, I can’t!!!” she added.
Fowler spent a large part of 2021 in the hospital, according to his mom’s Instagram page. She wrote July 29, 2021, that he was leaving the hospital after more than four months.
“And we’re out,” she wrote. “He hasn’t been outside in so long he say can you ask god to turn the sun down. 4 1/2 months is tooo long but we’re finally leaving thank God and thank you all for the continuous love and support from the bottom of my heart.”
3. ‘Where We About to Eat At?’ Was Fowler’s First Question When He Was Leaving the Hospital
Fowler’s viral video was filmed when he was leaving the hospital, according to his GoFundMe page. At the time the video was filmed in September 2019, he was 4 years old.
“From the moment Antwain was released from the hospital he wanted to know one thing, ‘Where we bout to eat at,’ which is what the entire world finds themselves asking quite often,” the GoFundMe page says.
Fowler had nearly 250,000 followers on his YouTube channel, AntwainsWorld.
“4 year old Boy with the biggest personality who Loves too Eat!!! Being him at the same time,” the page says.
4. Fowler Was ‘Overjoyed’ & ‘Constantly Smiling Toward the World’
Fowler’s upbeat nature and sense of humor drew hundreds of thousands of followers to his social media channels. Not all of his fans knew about the health struggles he faced.
“Today Antwain is over joyed and is constantly smiling towards the world. Although his fight is not over, he continues to make light of his situation,” his GoFundMe page says.
The fundraiser page was started after Fowler suffered surgery complications and pneumonia. The page had received nearly $70,000 in donations from more than 2,400 donors as of 3:30 p.m. EST Monday, November 22, 2021.
“I really appreciate each and everyone of you guys. You’ve shown so much love that it’s become overwhelming. Thank you from the bottom of my heart….” Fowler’s mom wrote.
5. Fowler Shared Karate Moves in His Final Video & Said ‘If Somebody Hits You, You Can Always Get Back Up’
Fowler shared some tips with his fans just days before his death, teaching karate moves in his last video. The video was posted on his GoFundMe page November 14, 2021.
“I’m doing alright,” he says in an intro on the video.
Sitting in a pediatric wheelchair, he shares karate moves and defensive maneuvers, complete with sound effects.
“So today, we’re gonna learn how to do karate. It’s gonna be very fun,” he says on the video. “First lesson is, put your arms like this, and then start karate-ing.”
He goes on to demonstrate some punches.
“If somebody hits you, you can always get back up,” he says. “And then if somebody kicks you, dodge it or do a backflip. Now you know. Bye guys!”