Nick Cannon announced on Tuesday, Dec. 7, on his daytime television series that his youngest son, Zen Cannon, tragically passed away over the weekend.
Cannon, who welcomed his seventh child in June with model Alyssa Scott, disclosed on “The Nick Cannon Show” that his son had been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition that causes a buildup of fluid on the brain.
According to the Mayo Clinic, hydrocephalus “is a buildup of fluid in the cavities deep within the brain.” The excess fluid can potentially damage brain tissues because of the applied pressure. The causes of hydrocephalus can vary because of the many ways it can be developed.
Hydrocephalus can be inherited genetically or through developmental disorders. The list includes spina bifida, encephalocele, brain tumors, head injuries, hemorrhage and diseases like meningitis. If the condition is left untreated, it can be fatal.
Cannon shared that his five-month-old son, born June 23, was diagnosed with a brain tumor. “I always noticed he had like a little, like to me, a little sinus thing, like a cough. .. we thought he would cough it out, but he always had this real interesting breathing.”
He continued talking about the size of Zen’s head, calling it a “Cannon head.”
“By the time he was two months old, I noticed like he was the cutest little boy, like big eyes, and I also noticed he got a nice-sized head. I call it a Cannon head. All my kids got really nice round heads.”
The 41-year-old added, “We didn’t think anything about it. He had a normal Cannon head. But I really wanted to take him to the doctor to get the breathing, and the sinus thing checked out. We thought it would be a routine process, and we went in just to check his sinuses. They actually said his sinuses were pretty cool … we found out that he had another condition where it was fluid building up in his head and that was the cause of his head starting to get big. They called it a malignant tumor in his head.”
Cannon also shared following the discovery, Zen immediately had brain surgery and underwent a shunt placement to help drain the fluid. The actor said although he and Scott were hopeful, things began to take a turn for the worst during Thanksgiving.
The father of seven tearfully said, “Thanksgiving, we had an interesting turn; the process sped up, and ultimately, if anyone know how cancer … it was cancer in the brain. And the tumor began to grow a lot faster.”
Cannon talked of spending his final time with his son while planning ideas for his daytime show that’s taped in New York.
“This weekend, I made a valid effort to spend the most quality time I could spend with Zen.” He said on Sunday he felt like he wanted “to go to the water and close to the ocean.”
Fighting back tears, he said, “It was a beautiful setting, and even to spend that whole day, it was interesting because even as I was holding him, I was still preparing my day as it normally went to come back and come here. I didn’t know how it was going to be.”
He added, “But even by the time I got in the car and was headed to the airport, I had to turn around. I turned around and not only did we get to see the sunrise, but we got to see the sunset too. I didn’t how I was going to handle today … I wanted to grieve with my family.”
Cannon dedicated the show to his son Zen. Following the announcement of his son’s passing, many people sent love to Cannon and Alyssa Scott through this tragic time.
“Literally got tears in my eyes for Nick Cannon & sons mom. That is a pain that I couldn’t and wouldn’t want to imagine ! And to have to go through it in front of world, my goodness.”
“My heart goes out to nick cannon and alyssa, i hope they are surrounded by their loved ones.”
“Really feeling for nick cannon and his family for the loss of his youngest son. Ain’t no pain like losing a life you created and grew to love. Praying for them.”
“Prayers to Nick Cannon and his family. I can’t even imagine losing a child, my heart hurts for them.”
Prior to Cannon’s son Zen’s passing, details surrounding his health issue were kept private.
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