Cameron Boyce‘s parents are opening up about their son’s tragic death last summer.
In an emotional new interview on The Doctors on Monday, the late Disney Channel star’s parents, Victor and Libby Boyce, recalled the day they learned of his death at age 20 after suffering a seizure in his sleep due to epilepsy. The night before the tragic loss, the family had gathered for a pleasant dinner together.
“In the morning, I get a call from his roommate and then he told me,” Victor said. “It was like all of a sudden I was in a cloud. I was just … everything just went white.”
The father said he was “losing his mind” immediately after hearing the news: “I still didn’t believe it. There was no way this was true. It was just a nightmare.” He added: “I’m not supposed to outlive my son.”
Libby said their family looks to “celebrate” Cameron and “find ways to honor him, which is how we’re approaching it.” Despite the positive outlook, she admitted dealing with the grief every day is “very, very hard.”
“This is not something you get better from,” she said. “This is something that you learn to live with.”
The Descendants actor was found dead in his North Hollywood, California, home on July 6, 2019, with a cause of death later confirmed to be the result of a seizure in his sleep due to epilepsy.
In December, Victor and Libby told PEOPLE about the many projects they’ve kickstarted in their son’s memory, including the moving PSA for K(NO)W SUDEP NOW, a partnership between the Cameron Boyce Foundation and the Epilepsy Foundation to help end Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy.
“I think he would be beyond proud,” Libby said at the time. “I think he would just be blown away because he was always sort of the one in front of the camera. And I know there are a few times, for example, that he would pull me in, in front of the camera for anything, and I couldn’t speak at all.”
“But he’s kind of coming through me, right now, in a way that I think is incredible,” she added. “When I’m talking to folks about this on-camera, I’m not nervous, it’s just coming out. We just have an incredible amount of responsibility to move the needle on the epilepsy front and bring it out from the shadows.”
Echoing his wife’s statements, Victor said that Cameron would be “disappointed” had they not gotten involved with epilepsy activism after his death. Heading into 2020, Victor and Libby are determined to continue their activism and educate people about epilepsy.
“We really feel strongly that we need to have this conversation because epilepsy is the most common disease that we know the least about,” said Libby. “So we want to bring in donations, obviously for research and also to do as many interviews and have as many conversations as we can so that we can make epilepsy have the attention that it so needs and deserves.”