Boyce lived with epilepsy before his sudden death
By NANCY DILLON| NEW YORK DAILY NEWS |JUL 08, 2019 | 1:24 PM
Beloved Disney star Cameron Boyce lived with epilepsy before his sudden death Saturday at age 20, law enforcement sources confirmed to the Daily News.
One source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said a brief investigation is taking place due to the “Descendants” star’s “young age” at the time of his passing and the need to “rule out everything else.”
An autopsy was pending Monday, a spokeswoman with the Los Angeles County Dept. of Medical Examiner-Coroner said in a statement.
She said Boyce was found unresponsive in a home on Cartwright Ave. in North Hollywood on Saturday.
Authorities were called, and Boyce was pronounced dead at the scene at 2:35 p.m., the statement said.
Boyce’s family first confirmed his tragic death in a statement to ABC News.
“He passed away in his sleep due to a seizure which was a result of an ongoing medical condition for which he was being treated,” the statement said.
“The world is now undoubtedly without one of its brightest lights, but his spirit will live on through the kindness and compassion of all who knew and loved him,” his family said. “We are utterly heartbroken and ask for privacy during this immensely difficult time as we grieve the loss of our precious son and brother.”
Most people with epilepsy lead full and healthy lives, but sudden, unexpected deaths due to epilipsy are possible and referred to by the acronym SUDEP.
Each year, about 1 in 1,000 people with epilepsy die from SUDEP, making it the leading cause of death in people with uncontrolled seizures, according to the Epilepsy Foundation.
The victim often is found dead in bed with no evidence of having suffered a convulsive seizure, according to the foundation’s website.
“No one is sure about the cause of death in SUDEP and it may differ between cases. Some researchers think that a seizure causes an irregular heart rhythm. Other research has shown that breathing difficulties following a seizure lead to death,” the website explains.
Boyce played Adam Sandler and Salma Hayek’s freckle-faced son in “Grown Ups” and its sequel before starring as the prank-playing older brother in the Disney Channel sitcom “Jessie” for four years.
He gained widespread fame playing Cruella De Vil’s teen son Carlos in the wildly popular “Descendants” TV movie trilogy with co-stars Dove Cameron, Sofia Carson and Booboo Stewart.
Boyce also was known for his dedication to charity work. He raised nearly $30,000 to build wells for clean drinking water in Swaziland and was honored with the Pioneering Spirit Award at last year’s Thirst Gala, sponsored by the nonprofit Thirst Project.