9-year-old boy's fits of laughter are actually deadly seizures
Friends and relatives of a 9-year-old California boy always just assumed he was cheerful due to sudden fits of laughter -- but unfortunately, his cheer was related to a serious illness.
According to InsideEdition.com, UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital found a benign mass in Justin Cho's brain. The hypothalamic hamartoma causes seizures, which for Justin appeared as bursts of laughter 2 to 3 times per day.
"This is something he's had ever since he was an infant," Justin's dad Robert Cho told InsideEdition.com. "We always thought that was just a sign of his body telling him he's tired."
Cho said each burst of laughter lasted only a few seconds, and usually happened once in the late afternoon and again late at night as Justin was sleeping.
Justin's parents watched him have a full-blown seizure as he was waking up in the morning in July 2015.
"I've never seen a seizure before," Cho said. "All our kids have always been healthy. This was the first time I've seen it. It was dreadful."
That's what led the Cho and his wife to take Justin to have tests done. Dr. Aria Fallah discovered the mass in his brain.
According to InsideEdition.com, Fallah told the family that if the mass was left untreated, it could lead to earning disabilities, premature puberty and even death.
Fallah and his team used lasers to treat and remove the tumor in a minimally invasive procedure, and Justin returned home the next day, free of any seizures.
"He never even missed a single soccer practice," Cho told InsideEdition.com. "It's amazing. It's definitely a miracle."