Thursday, July 11, 2019


Disney star Cameron Boyce’s father took to Instagram on Wednesday to share a heartbreaking message alongside what is one of the last photos ever taken of his son.

“My son. Just hours before he was snatched from our lives. I miss him terribly. I hope that no one ever has to feel the agony I’m feeling but no one is immune to tragedy,” the 20-year-old’s father, Victor Boyce, began.

“The outpouring of love and support our family continues to receive is so beautiful and appreciated. Thank you all for helping us through our worst possible situation,” he continued.

Boyce died following a seizure on Saturday. The seizure “was a result of an ongoing medical condition, and that condition was epilepsy,” the actor’s family said in a statement.

"I love you, Victor. I love you, Libby. I love you, Maya. And I will ALWAYS remember your beautiful son, Cam,” one of Boyce’s "Descendants" co-stars, Melanie Paxson, commented on the post.

“Hey Victor, Cameron is our Forever Boy. We will carry his goodness forward with us every day of our lives. Look up, he is there! You are not alone,” wrote producer, director and choreographer Kenny Ortega in response.

“I love you and your whole family so much and forever. There was life before this, and now life after this. My thoughts have not left you and they will stay with you,” shared actress Dove Cameron, another of Boyce’s “Descendants” co-stars. Cameron also posted a six-part black and white video series to Instagram honoring her late friend and co-star.

Other notable people — including former first lady Michelle Obama — also honored the late actor and philanthropist following his death.

The sudden death of Disney Channel star Cameron Boyce has brought to light a rare, yet fatal complication known as Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP). Approximately 1 in 1000 people with epilepsy die a sudden death .

Doctors are not certain why these unexpected deaths occur, but they are most common among people who suffer from tonic-clonic seizures.

"Tonic-clonic seizure is when a person all of a sudden drops to the ground. They become unconscious and their body starts to stiffen and shake in a rhythmic pattern," informational services coordinator at Epilepsy Association of WNY Renay Moran said. "They can lose control of their bladder or bowels. Their respiration slows down and their skin turns slightly blue.

These types of seizures are uncontrolled, can trigger cardiac arrest or even death.

"Unfortunately, a lot of doctors don't tell their patients about SUDEP," Moran said. She believes this is because doctors do not want to give epilepsy patients any added stress.

"What are the chances of getting hit by a car? It's probably the same chances of having someone die of SUDEP," Moran said.

To lessen the risk of dying from SUDEP:

Take your medication on time
Get eight hours of sleep
Go to therapy or seizure management practices to control seizures
Avoid triggers


  1. The death of actor Cameron Boyce this month at the age of 20 is a stark reminder that epilepsy can be fatal.

    Boyce was found dead in his home in North Hollywood, Los Angeles, in the early afternoon of July 6. The LA county medical examiner subsequently performed an autopsy and concluded that he died of natural causes, but chose to defer listing a cause of death pending further tests.

    However, his family has been more forthcoming.

    “Cameron’s tragic passing was due to a seizure as a result of an ongoing medical condition, and that condition was Epilepsy,” the Boyce family spokesperson told ABC News in a statement on Tuesday.

    Their admission has prompted questions and concerns from the public and many of Boyce’s adoring fans, namely: how could an otherwise healthy, young man die from this common neurologic condition?

    And while it isn’t possible to say for certain, medical experts contacted by Healthline pointed the finger at SUDEP or sudden unexpected death in epilepsy, a rare but serious event that occurs among individuals with epilepsy…

    SUDEP is the most common cause of death among both children and adults with epilepsy and is classified differently than deaths that occur from injury sustained during a seizure. More than 1 out of 1,000 individuals with epilepsy die from SUDEP annually.
    Nonetheless, it still remains something of a mystery.

    “It’s not entirely understood why some people die from their seizures,” said Dr. Fred Lado, PhD, regional director of epilepsy for Northwell Health’s Eastern and Central Regions.

    “What seems to happen during a SUDEP event is that there is a seizure. Then the seizure ends and there is a period of often some minutes after the seizure where it seems that often people stop breathing as a consequence of the seizure,” said Lado.

    Other probable mechanisms for SUDEP include heart arrhythmia or cardiac arrest following a seizure, interference with brain functioning resulting in dangerous changes breathing and heart rate, or a combination of any of these factors.

    Researchers also admit that SUDEP might result from something else entirely that hasn’t yet been discovered.

    SUDEP occurs most frequently during sleep and can involve other compounding risk factors.

    “If someone has a seizure they could be face down, and in the post-seizure state your brain is in a reboot phase, so you don’t really have the awareness to turn over to your back so you don’t suffocate,” said Dr. Asim Shahid, division chief of neurology at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center and chief of pediatric neurology at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital.

    Additionally, during the night, people with epilepsy are less likely to be observed, meaning help may not arrive in time. The presence of pillows and other bedding can also increase the risk of suffocation during and following a seizure.(continued)

  2. (continued) Every seizure presents the risk, albeit a small one, of an occurrence of SUDEP, but certain populations are known to have higher risk than others.

    “The factors that really matter when we are looking at SUDEP are the type of seizures: So, we know that convulsive seizures have a higher correlation with individuals dying of SUDEP, and uncontrolled seizures. So, if they have frequent seizures, they are at a higher risk of dying,” said Shahid.

    Generalised tonic-clonic seizures (sometimes referred to as grand mal seizures) are recognized as the greatest risk factor for SUDEP.

    Since incidences of SUDEP or near-SUPEP (when the individual survives the incident) can be difficult to identify and treat, preventative measures are of the utmost importance. The best prevention is controlling seizures through medication and lifestyle.

    Ways to stay safe with epilepsy

    Epilepsy can often be controlled through a variety of medications. If you take epilepsy medication, don’t miss a dose.

    “Medication compliance is very important,” said Lado.

    From a lifestyle perspective, avoid triggers that are known to cause seizures. These can include common drugs like nicotine and caffeine, lack of sleep, and flashing lights.

    During a convulsive seizure, there are basic first aid stepsTrusted Source that individuals can undertake to help, including ensuring that the person having the seizure is safely lying down on the floor, loosening clothing or jewelry around their neck, and turning them on their side.

    It is important not to put anything in their mouth. A person having a seizure cannot swallow their tongue.

    “It’s not likely that most bystanders are going to be looking at a SUDEP case. They are much more likely to be looking at a convulsion and knowing what to do there is going to be more useful,” said Lado.

  3. The Los Angeles County coroner's office says Disney actor Cameron Boyce died unexpectedly from epilepsy.

    An autopsy report released Tuesday states the "Descendants" star was found unresponsive at home on July 6, and later pronounced dead at the scene.