The parents of a seemingly happy child who “giggled” for 17 hours a day were shocked to find that he did have a rare brain tumor.
When little Jack Young from North Somerset in the United Kingdom began to chuckle two weeks after his birth, parents of Gemma and Ed just thought he was an unusually joyful child.
But it turned out that incessant giggles are attacks of “laughing attacks” caused by the hypothalamic hamartoma, a benign brain tumor.
“There was no break from him, the hoarse sound was constant, and for a long time we didn’t know why,” said mother Gemma.
After two years of outbursts that started from dawn to dusk, Jack had a 10-hour op to remove height.
And so, the strange attacks stopped.
Doctors explained how rare bouts of seizures occur in 1000 children with epilepsy and are associated with sudden bursts of energy — usually in the form of tears or laughter.
After Jack was born in May 2014, he began to giggle even in his sleep, and the flashes lasted from 30 minutes to 17 hours non-stop.
“To be honest, we just thought he was so happy,” said Gemma.
“It was a bit of a giggle, but it seemed to go on and on like a repetition.
“For a start, I was just a new mom trying to enter a new routine, but after two months everything became too much and we had to move Jack down to sleep, eventually, because he also kept his brother. tiring. "
It was only on Jack’s six-week check that the health visitor told Gemma that she was concerned about Jack’s noise.
“I was terrified that another woman noticed this in my child, and, as a mother, I had to realize it,” continued Gemma.
She immediately took Jack to see a general practitioner and handed it to a specialist in ear, nose and throat.
“By this time, none of us had slept at all, and I asked the doctors to do something,” said Gemma.
“The sound was ruthless and unpredictable. Too hard to fall asleep because I had no idea when the noise would happen again. ”
But even the specialist didn’t really know what was happening, and so he handed over the family to see a neurologist at the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children.
“Even the nurse at the hospital thought he was just laughing and was shocked when she realized that his“ laughter ”was the reason that we saw the doctors,” said Gemma.
"People will tell us:" Isn't he a happy guy? ”And he was a very happy little boy, but his chuckle was not a laugh, it was something else. I had no idea what could be wrong with Jack, but I was horrified that he would never stop. ”
Finally, after Jack had an MRI scanner, his family was diagnosed.
“The doctor said he had a hypothalamic hamartoma, which means that he had a benign brain tumor the size of a grape at the base of his brain, which leads to desirable cramps (the desired meaning is“ laughter ”in Greek).
“It was a great relief to find out what was really wrong with him, but so heart-rending at the same time to think that he had lived through it all.
“All his other areas of development were as amazing as his speech and understanding, but he was laughing all the time,” said Gemma.
“This did not affect the fact that he ate solid at six weeks or walked at one year old – in fact, oddly enough, he could walk and laugh at the same time.
"He will spend his day well, but he will laugh too."
Because op, Jack – now four – has not had a laughing fit.
Although his parents admit that they can still be nervous when he giggles in a natural way – as he often jokes in television cartoons – they are so grateful that they can live a normal life.
“The next day after the operation, we realized that Jack hadn’t giggled once, it was a strange feeling,” said Gemma, “we sat waiting for him to do it, but he didn’t. But when we heard him laugh, for the first time it was amazing. ”
Gemma added: “He is such a happy little boy and is a true success story.
“He’s such a cheeky little boy, with a great sense of humor, coming out with one liner that makes us all laugh.
“Hypothalamic hamartoma is so rare, and I want other parents to know that at the end of the tunnel there is light and everything gets better. This operation has changed the life of Jack and ours, and we are so grateful. ”
This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reprinted here with permission.