Nick Cannon and his wife Alyssa Scott are grieving the loss of their 5-month-old son, Zen.
While appearing in NBC’s “Today” show on Thursday, the actor and TV host opened up to discuss Zen’s tragic death. The newborn, just 5 months old, sadly died earlier this month from a deadly brain tumor. Cannon also shared his grief, finding strength through the tough time, and how the duo is planning to keep Zen’s memory alive. We might listen more of him if he comes up again on the NBC channel about how he survived a post-trauma of Zen’s demise likewise, Drew opened up battle with alcohol addiction and divorce trauma in an interview after separation from Will Kopelman.
“You pray for miracles,” he shared with Hoda Kotb. “Coming from a faith-based background, it’s not for the miracle to do something that’s unknown to us, but it’s really for the things that we can find comfort in. So I asked for the miracle of strength to be able to be here today, and that I find that peace that surpasses all understanding.”
He further added, “I’m taking it as my therapist says, five minutes at a time. I’m optimistic in finding the purpose through all of the pain, so I’m attempting to smile, I’m attempting to be the high-frequency individual that I’ve set out to be, but along the way, there’s definitely some curves in the journey, so I’m taking it five minutes at a time.”
Just days after Zen arrived in this world, the concern of Cannon and Scott heightened when their “super calm” baby’s breathing rhythms seemed out of the pattern.
Cannon, who greeted Zen with Scott on June 23, 2021, in Orange County of California revealed, “It sounded like he had fluid in his lungs, like a sinus infection or something”
“[The doctors] didn’t think it to be anything too concerning.”
However, after a few weeks, the doctor started to worry as Zen’s head was “growing a little too quickly.”
Moving forward, in August, Cannon and Scott were confronted with their biggest shock: their 2-month-old baby boy Zen was identified with high-grade glioma, a rare and destructive type of brain cancer.
High-Grade Gliomas are cancerous lumps housed in the brain and spinal cord. “These tumors can grow and spread quickly,” tells Dr. Joffre E. Olaya, a neurosurgeon and Zen’s doctor based at Children’s Hospital of Orange County.
Moreover, as per Cincinnati’s Children’s Hospital, these tumors are rare and account for 8 to 12 percent of all infantile brain tumors, and their origin is still unknown. Tells Olaya: “They are very difficult to treat.”
Doctors decided to fix a tube in Zen’s skull to allow extra fluids to drain and lessen the pressure, but all in vain as the tumors continued to grow.
“We started asking, ‘Is there a way to prevent this? If not, how long do we have?’” remembers Cannon. “The conversations quickly turned to, ‘How can we give him the best life for the time that he does have?’ It could be weeks, it could be months, it could be years.”
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After exploring various options for treatments, including chemotherapy, Scott and Cannon; who also underwent chemotherapy for lupus, made the hard decision of not following any further aggressive and painful procedures for their son in his final months to concentrate on keeping their son “as happy as he could possibly be,” reveals Cannon.
“We were having quality-of-life conversations,” he tells. “We could have had that existence where he would’ve had to live in the hospital, hooked up to machines, for the rest of the time. From someone who’s had to deal with chemotherapy before, I know that pain. To see that happen to a 2-month-old, I didn’t want that. I didn’t want him to suffer.”
From there, Cannon and Scott 28 became determined to create and gather as many moments of joy for Zen every day as they could.
“We focused on Disneyland, our favorite place,” shares Cannon. “Every month we would celebrate his birthday, just really seeing it as a victory every time he had a milestone that he was still here with us.”
But during the Thanksgiving holidays, things started to turn worse.
Cannon recalls, “You could tell he was struggling.” He adds, “He was gasping for air. We’d wake up, and he wouldn’t be breathing for maybe five to 10 seconds at a time, and then he’d let out a huge gasp. You could see it frightened him. It was the scariest thing I’ve ever experienced.”
The couple then decided to spend a serene day with Zen at the beach.
“I was like, ‘We have to watch the sunrise and just be there with him one last time,'” he states. “It was beautiful.”
Earlier this month, on December 5, 2021, the little angel bid farewell to this world in the arms of his mother and father.
“I see it as a blessing that I got to be there,” tells Cannon. “Alyssa says, ‘I think he was just waiting for you.’ ”
Cannon first shared the heartbreaking news on December 7, 2021, during his talk show Nick Cannon.
“We had a short time with a true angel,” reveals Cannon. “My heart is shattered. I wish I could have done more, spent more time with him, taken more pictures. I wish I could have hugged him longer.”
As sorrow prevails, Cannon and Scott are remembering the good memories they created in a short time with Zen. “He was the most loving baby,” expresses Cannon. “I look at being his father as a great privilege.”
Scott, mother of Zen also shares: “It was a privilege being Zen’s mommy. It’s so beautiful and encouraging to see even complete strangers being touched and moved by Zen’s light. Zen’s spirit and light will shine bright forever.”
Cannon also revealed in his show last week that he got a tattoo of Zen as an angel with wings and a halo on his ribs to keep him close to his heart forever.
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Cannon is also a father of 5-month-old twins Zion Mixolydian and Zillion Heir from his wife Abby De La Rosa; 11-month-old girl Powerful Queen and 4-year-old boy Golden, from his wife Brittany Bell; and twins Moroccan and Monroe, 10, from his ex-wife Mariah Carey.
Good health is a precious prize you are bestowed from the heavens. Cherish your healthy life and don’t take it for granted. And if, unfortunately, you are ailing from some illness, don’t take it lightly, consult your physician immediately.
Losing a loved one, especially an angel-like Zen is always hard beyond the expressions. We stand by Cannon and Scott in this hard phase of their life.