In an interview with People, Nick Cannon spoke about the tragic death of his 5-month-old son Zen, who recently passed following a battle with a brain tumor. 

For a new cover story, Cannon explained how he and Alyssa Scott learned of their son’s malignant tumor. Back in August, after realizing Zen had irregular breathing, the couple brought him to the doctor, where he was diagnosed with glioma, a rare and aggressive form of brain cancer.

“We started asking, ‘Is there a way to prevent this? If not, how long do we have?’” Cannon recalled. “The conversations quickly turned to, ‘How can we give him the best life for the time that he does have?’ It could be weeks, it could be months, it could be years.”

The 41-year-old continued, “We were having quality-of-life conversations. We could have had that existence where he would’ve had to live in the hospital, hooked up to machines, for the rest of the time. From someone who’s had to deal with chemotherapy before, I know that pain. To see that happen to a 2-month-old, I didn’t want that. I didn’t want him to suffer.” 

Things took a turn for the worse over Thanksgiving, when Zen was having difficulty breathing.

“You could tell he was struggling,” Cannon explained. “He was gasping for air. We’d wake up, and he wouldn’t be breathing for maybe five to 10 seconds at a time, and then he’d let out a huge gasp. You could see it frightened him. It was the scariest thing I’ve ever experienced.”

The interview arrives a week after the TV host, on an episode of his Nick Cannon Show, revealed he and Scott had lost their son to cancer. 

“Over the weekend I lost my youngest son to a condition called hydrocephalus that is pretty much a malignant, midline brain tumor—brain cancer,” Cannon told his audience. 

As seen in the clip below, Cannon shared his desire to spend as much quality time as he could with his son. “Usually on Sundays, I handle everything I need to handle with the family, then I fly back—I rush back—so I can be here with you all,” he said on air. “I wanted to make sure I could allow the sun to rise and could hold my son. Holding my son for the last time, but it was a beautiful setting…I was still preparing my day as it normally went, to come back and come here, I didn’t know what it was gonna be. But even by the time I got in the car and was headed to the airport, I had to turn around.”

Watch Nick Cannon’s full message about the tragic death of his son with Alyssa Scott below.