Baby's non-stop giggling was actually a symptom of a serious illness

Baby's non-stop giggling was actually a symptom of a serious illness

Some people say that laughter is the best medicine, but for toddler Jack Young, his constant fits of giggles were almost what killed him. Many people, including his parents at first, thought that Jack was simply a happy and easily-amused little boy who laughed a lot. But little did they know that his laughing was actually a symptom of a very strange and rare form of seizure. Jack's mother and father, Ed and Gemma Young, hail from Winscombe in England, were disturbed when little Jack would laugh for up to 17 hours a day.

Two years after his birth on May 11 2014, Gemma and Ed learned from doctors who that Jack's hysterical laughter was actually caused by a benign grape-sized brain tumour, which had caused hypothalamic hamartoma -  a form of seizure which only occurs in one in every 1000 epileptic children. On June 16, 2016, Jack finally had an operation to remove the tumor at the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, and after that, his giggles subsided.

An image of Gemma and Jack Young. Credit: Press Association

Commenting on baby Jack's bizarre condition in a recent interview, Gemma stated: "To be honest, we just thought he was so happy all the time. It was a little chuckle but it just seemed to go on and on, like a record on repeat. To start with, I was just a new mum trying to get into a new routine, but after two months things became too much and we had to move Jack downstairs to sleep in the end, as he was keeping his brother up too, it was exhausting."

She added: "By this time, none of us were getting any sleep at all and I was begging doctors to do something. The sound was relentless and so unpredictable. It was hard to fall asleep, as I had no idea when the noise was going to happen again.  Even a nurse at the hospital thought he was just laughing and was shocked when she realised his ‘laugh’ was the reason we were seeing doctors. People would say to us, ‘Isn’t he a happy lad?’ and he was a really happy little boy, but his chuckle wasn’t laughter, it was something else. I had no idea what could be wrong with Jack, but I was terrified that it might never stop."

An image of Gemma and Jack Young. Credit: Press Association

"The doctor said he had hypothalamic hamartoma, meaning he had a benign brain tumour the size of a grape at the base of his brain, which causes gelastic seizures. It was a huge relief to know what was actually wrong with him, but so heartbreaking at the same time to think he had gone through all of that."

Thankfully the operation was a complete success. Jack, now aged four, is now completely cured of the giggles - although his mum and dad still get nervous when he laughs when watching funny cartoons. Considering the ordeal they've been through, I'm frankly not surprised.