Cameron Boyce's dad shares photo taken hours before young actor's death

The Disney Channel actor's parents are remembering their "shooting star" after his death at 20 years old.

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/ Source: TODAY
By Scott Stump

The father of Disney Channel actor Cameron Boyce has shared a photo taken just hours before his death as his parents mourn the loss of their "shooting star."

Victor Boyce posted a picture of his son on Instagram Wednesday, writing about the pain of his loss at 20 years old on Saturday from what his family said was a seizure in his sleep caused by epilepsy.

"My son. Just hours before he was snatched from our lives,'' he wrote. "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 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."

Victor and his wife, Libby, also spoke with People magazine about the legacy of their son, who was best known for his roles as Carlos in the "Descendants" franchise, as well as Luke Ross on the Disney Channel show "Jessie."

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"He was the very definition of human kindness, and a light that will forever shine as his spirit lives on in all who knew and loved him,'' his parents said in a statement to People.

"The pain we have endured and are continuing to endure is indescribable, but we are making every effort to move forward and ensure that Cameron's legacy and all that he stood for is honored…He is our shooting star."

Victor also tweeted on Sunday that the support for his family has helped "to ease the pain of this nightmare I can't wake up from."

His parents said his tragic death was due his ongoing condition of epilepsy, a disorder of the nerve cell activity in the brain that affects nearly 3.5 million Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

NBC News medical contributor Dr. Natalie Azar joined TODAY Thursday to explain how a person with epilepsy could die in their sleep like Boyce due to a phenomenon known as SUDEP, or sudden unexplained death in epilepsy.

"As the name implies, it happens usually in the middle of the night,'' Azar said. "That's one of the major risk factors as well as having very uncontrolled, generalized, tonic-clonic seizures, but it's unexpected and it's unexplained by accident or another cause."

To help prevent SUDEP, people with epilepsy should be disciplined about taking medication to control seizures and avoid triggers like excess alcohol and sleep deprivation, Azar said. Adults around people with epilepsy should also be trained in seizure first aid.

Boyce's death prompted an outpouring of support and remembrances on social media, from his former "Grown Ups" co-star Adam Sandler to former first lady Michelle Obama.

One of his Disney Channel co-stars, Dove Cameron, remembered him in an emotional Instagram video Wednesday.

"Cameron was one of my favorite people alive in the world,'' she said. "Goodbye, my dear, dear brother."