Jump to content

John Travolta's son Jett


Recommended Posts

The teenage son of actor John Travolta died suddenly on Friday during a family vacation in the Bahamas, according to the family's lawyer.

Jett Travolta, 16, suffered a seizure at his family's vacation home at the Old Bahama Bay Hotel on Grand Bahama Island, attorney Michael Ossi said.

Attempts were made to revive him, but he died at the scene, Ossi said.

Jett, who had a history of seizures, was the eldest child of Travolta and his wife, actress Kelly Preston. They also have a daughter, Ella Blue, who was born in 2000.

(I read another account that claimed that he fell and hit his head on a bathtub at the hotel, but the above is the official word from the family's rep)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

(Could be both I suppose... had a seizure then fell and hit his head on tub.)

I can't even imagine... so sad.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Jett Travolta, Son of John Travolta and Kelly Preston


John Travolta with his son, Jett Travolta

NASSAU, Bahamas -- John Travolta's 16-year-old son, Jett, died the morning of Friday, January 2 at the family's vacation home in The Bahamas after what the family's lawyer says was a seizure-related incident. Jett Travolta, 16, suffered a seizure and died suddenly at his family's vacation home.

The Travolta Family was on holiday at the Old Bahama Bay Hotel on Grand Bahama Island, attorney Michael Ossi said. The family, including Jett Travolta's mother, actress Kelly Preston, and his 8-year-old sister, Ella, had been celebrating the New Year in The Bahamas.

"A nanny attempted to revive him, all attempts were made, but he couldn't be revived," Travolta's attorney, Michael Ossi, told ABCNews.com. Ossi, who is also in The Bahamas said, "They tried as hard as they could to revive Jett."


The Travolta Family travel on vacation with

(L-R) children's nanny, Jeff Kathrein, John

Travolta, son Jett Travolta and Kelly Preston

with daughter, Ella Travolta in her arms.

Ossi added that the teenager "has had seizures in the past, but they were controlled. This one couldn't be." The seizure may be only part of the story. Royal Bahamas Police Force spokeswoman Loretta Mackey told the Associated Press that Jett Travolta died from hitting his head in a bathtub.

Jett Travolta's health made national news in 2002. It was at this time that his mother disclosed that at age 2 he had had a poorly understood condition known as Kawasaki syndrome, a collection of symptoms that stem from swollen arteries.

Researchers believe that inflammation from Kawasaki syndrome, or KS, can lead to convulsions and seizures. KS primarily affects children under the age of 5, though it can occur in older children. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about nine out of 100,000 children have KS.


John Travolta and Kelly Preston with their

young son, Jett Travolta

Incidence is higher among Japanese and Korean children, though KS can occur among any ethnicity. However, KS expert Dr. Robert Frenck, a professor of pediatrics in the division of infectious disease at the Cincinnati Children's Hospital, said KS is not usually associated with deadly seizures -- especially in children who have already recovered from KS, which he said is a temporary condition.

"If there's a major complication, and if someone dies from it, it is a [coronary] aneurysm," he said. "It doesn't happen frequently, but that is what we really worry about. . . . That can set the kids up for a heart attack." Frenck added that the only type of seizure that can occur in patients with KS is a febrile seizure, which arises from a high fever.

The New York Post and other media outlets have suggested in past reports that the Travolta's son has autism, though the family has always maintained that their son's condition is KS. Autism is also associated with seizures.


Jett Travolta with his dad, John Travolta, in Paris.

"There is a relationship between autism and seizures; as many as 40 percent of children and young adults with autism may experience seizure, and adolescence is a particular time of vulnerability," said Dr. Bryan King, director of child and adolescent psychiatry at Seattle Children's Hospital's Research Center for Health Services and Behavioral Research.

"There are hormonal changes that could increase the risk of seizure, and certainly there are ongoing brain changes that take place during adolescence, but no one knows why the risk increases in older children."

Regardless of the cause, Ossi said that the family is now grieving. He added that the incident "is the worst pain any parent can experience, the loss of child." Speaking for John Travolta, Ossi said, "This is the worst day of his life." Ossi said that Dr. Mark Smith, the Travolta family doctor, plans to give a statement after the autopsy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Holiday Tragedy: Jett Travolta Dies Suddenly


Kelly Preston with her son, Jett Travolta, on

a family outing in 2006.

NASSAU, Bahamas -- The 16-year-old son of actors John Travolta and Kelly Preston died Friday morning after suffering a seizure while vacationing with his family in the Bahamas, Travolta's attorney told CNN. Actors John Travolta and Kelly Preston were vacationing in the Bahamas with their children when son Jett died. The Travoltas daughter, Ella, is 8-years-old.

"At this point, we know that John Travolta and Kelly Preston's only son, Jett, had a seizure at around 10 a.m. this morning," attorney Michael Ossi said. "All attempts to revive him were unsuccessful," Ossi reported. "The boy hit his head after the seizure, but the exact cause of death is not known."

Ossi said an autopsy will be conducted Monday. The Grand Bahamas Health Minister confirms that the autopsy will be conducted by two pathologists to ensure a proper evaluation has been made. A clinical and forensic pathologist from Nassau, that is U.S. certified, will fly into Grand Bahama on Monday to help perform the autopsy.

Jett's body will be embalmed Monday afternoon, he said. There will be a local showing on Tuesday and later that day the body will be flown to Ocala, Florida for burial. Jett's death "was completely out of the blue," he said. "John and Kelly are happy when their children are happy. This is the worst day of John's life."


Kelly Preston pose with young children Ella and Jett Travolta

Reports hint they may have learned what may have killed Jett Travolta, and it's not what police have suggested according to John Travolta's lawyer and close friend, Michael McDermott, and family attorney Michael Ossi, both of whom are with John in the Bahamas.

They said it appears Jett's fatal injury was the result of hitting his head on the bathtub, toilet seat, or both. They add that the intimation that Jett went undiscovered for hours is absolutely false. Police have said the last time anyone saw Jett was when he went to the bathroom on January 1. His body was discovered by nanny Jeff Kathrein the next day at 10 a.m.

In fact, McDermott and Ossi say it appears Jett went back and forth to his room and the fatal injury occurred "very shortly" before Jett was found on the bathroom floor -- McDermott called it a "small window of time." McDermott and Ossi tell us two nannies were present on the trip and Kathrein was by his side 24/7.

There was a baby monitor device by Jett's side and there was also a chimer in the bathroom when the door opened. McDermott and Ossi say it is still unclear if Jett fell to the floor as a result of a seizure or if he had a seizure after falling or slipping. There was blood on the floor of the bathroom, but "not a tremendous amount."


Jett Travolta with dad, John Travolta

It appears the striking of Jett's head was the cause of death, though it won't be clear until the autopsy is performed Monday morning. McDermott says both Travolta and Preston are night owls. Travolta often goes to sleep at around 5 a.m. But McDermott says both nannies were at the hotel and Kathrein was always present.

McDermott tells us a hotel manager was first on scene with Kathrein and the two of them administered CPR. Travolta came in shortly thereafter and took over for a "substantial period of time [and] was performing CPR and continued that until EMT came and took over." McDermott says as for Travolta and Preston, the pain is "unimaginable and unquantifiable."

Bahamian police said a caretaker at the West End resort where the Travoltas were vacationing found the teenager unconscious in the bathroom. Jett Travolta was taken by ambulance to Rand Memorial Hospital in Freeport and was pronounced dead on arrival, police said.

Jett's death was mourned by the staff and residents of West End, where the Travoltas were beloved members of the community, Obie Wilchcomb, former minister of tourism for the Bahamas, told CNN's Larry King.


John Travolta and Kelly Preston with young son, Jett Travolta

"We in West End had admired Mr. Travolta and his wife, Kelly," Wilchcomb said. "The people of the community of West End, particularly those who work at Old Bahama Bay, certainly today were in such shock, and they felt the tragedy because they had become a part of the community."

Wilchcomb said the Travoltas' love and affection for their son was apparent to those in the community. "Mr. Travolta spent a tremendous amount of time with his son, Jett. He never left him at home. He always brought him with him. And once you saw John Travolta, you saw his son, Jett."

Wilchcomb added, "They were very close, very affectionate. Lots of love, you see at all times." The entire family was on the island this weekend for a gathering of 60 family and friends who were arriving throughout the day as the tragedy unfolded, Wilchcomb reported.

In 1994, Travolta told People Magazine that he loved fatherhood. "I can't imagine what life would be like without Jett," he said. "After he was born and cleaned up, I held him for hours while Kelly slept. When they came to take him away for various tests, I said, 'No, you can't see him today. You'll have to do it another day.' I went a little nutsy."


Mother Kelly Preston and son Jett Travolta enjoy a

happy vacation moment together

Jett Travolta had a developmental disability that his parents, power acting couple, John Travolta and Kelly Preston, have linked to Kawasaki disease, an inflammatory disorder of the artery walls that most commonly occurs in young children and can often lead to heart disease.

In a 2001 interview on CNN's "Larry King Live," John Travolta explained that his son had a near brush with death related to the condition. "Being a new parent, I was obsessive about cleaning," Travolta elaborated. "We wanted Jett's space to be squeaky clean, so we constantly had the carpets cleaned."

"And I think, between him, the fumes and walking around, maybe picking up pieces or something, he got what is rarely a thing to deal with, but it's Kawasaki syndrome," Travolta said of his then-2-year-old son. "It was that the immune system overreacts, because they have almost the equivalent of metallic chemical," Travolta added.

In 2003, Kelly Preston told Montel Williams that when Jett was two, he became ill with flu symptoms, including fever, rashes and swollen lymph nodes, before a doctor diagnosed him with Kawasaki disease.


During happier times, John Travolta shares a tender

moment with his young son, Jett

Echoing her husband's comments, Preston blamed chemicals in household cleaners and pesticides for attacking her son's immune system, triggering the condition. A dedicated Scientologist, Preston told Williams that she credited a detoxification program from the writings of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard with helping improve her son's health.

Kawasaki disease is characterized by fevers and inflammation in the blood vessels that can be caused a number of inciting factors, including virus, bacteria or infection, CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta said on "Larry King Live."

"You get pretty sick for a few days. In the worst-case scenario, sometimes it can affect the blood vessels of the heart, called the coronary arteries," Gupta said. "Sometimes they can develop aneurysms in it. That's probably the most dangerous thing. But again, this is typically a disease associated with young children. It's typically in Japan, and it's pretty rare."

Gupta said it was rare for teens to display symptoms of the disease, which usually occurs in young children. "Most of the patients are usually between two- and five-years-old," Gupta explained. "Sometimes they get up to age 8. But it's very rare, in fact, for someone to be in their teens and still have symptoms of Kawasaki."


Actress Kelly Preston holds daughter, Ella, close while son, Jett,

rests comfortably in the arms of his father, Actor John Travolta.

Gupta added, "They may have had it earlier in life, but to still have any manifestations of it is unusual." The causes of Kawasaki disease are unknown. Some scientists think it's caused by an infectious agent, such as a virus. Some studies have noted a link between the disease and carpet cleaning chemicals.

Preston has numerous TV and movie credits, including a supporting role in 1996's "Jerry Maguire." John Travolta gained fame in the 1970s, starring in the television series, "Welcome Back, Kotter" and the movies, "Saturday Night Fever" and "Grease." His career got a boost in 1994 with his second Best Actor Oscar nomination, for his role as a hit man in "Pulp Fiction."

He also wrote and illustrated a 42-page novel for his son called "Propeller One-Way Night Coach," a "fable for the ages" about a young boy whose first trip on an airplane changes his life forever, according to Amazon.com. It was a nod to Travolta's experience as a licensed pilot.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is sad. It always breaks my heart to hear of someone dying so young.

I was looking for more information about this last night when I first heard. I was shocked and sickened by some of the comments from people. I mean, I agree that scientology seems weird and all that, but this is a young man who lost his life. He leaves behind parent's, and a sister as well as grandparents, friends, etc... This is where they stop being celebrities and just get to be people. I hope they are given all the space and time they need to grieve. I hope all the media hounds respect that.

I'm also so glad that all comments here are kind and compassionate.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with Ivy, I hope the media leaves them alone and lets them grieve in peace. I was so angry reading some of the crap about how people think the kiddo had autism, etc. Well really, what does any of that matter at this point? Let them be. Sorry, just had to climb on my soapbox for a minute there. I feel so bad for the family, and the unimaginable pain they must be going thru.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I will definitely agree with Ivy and Sugar, the family needs privacy, the pappazzi really needs to back up on this.........This family is in shock and grieving,making arrangements is the worse, as someone mentioned earlier, you are not suppose to bury your child.

May God give them the strength

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My son contracted Kawasaki's in 2004. One possible trigger is strep but they have no clue. He was quarantined and case studied for 3 days. His leftover symptoms are joint issues and a lifetime of monitoring his heart and other organs for damage. No seizures though.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's not very common and not much is known. There aren't alot of deaths once detected however there are untold deaths possibly related. My son had joint pain beyond belief ( he was in a fetal position unable to move an inch ), blood red eyes, strawberry tongue, 102+ fever for days and days, etc, etc. They quarantined him to avoid people contaminating his already extremely weakened system HOWEVER... after watching assorted nurses, five different doctors, people in training, people from the Centers for Disease Control, Rheumatologists, lunch ladies, janitors traipse in I told them I was taking him home where there were two people HE and I!! Long term effects vary depending on how fast it was caught, the childs system, etc. He wore a heart monitor for awhile and still gets a yearly checkup for everything. By eighteen you can fully determine ( according to them ) extent of permanent damage. He's pretty damn healthy and takes Tae kwon do for joint & heart health.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can't believe the news is trying to blame scientolology for what happened. Not that I'm a fan of the religion, but seriously, it must be so hurtful for the poor family to have to listen to such idiotic reporting! They are grieving and being blamed at the same time, good lord! My heart goes out to them and hope that the media leaves them alone to deal with their loss.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it is fair to question whether Scientology played any part in his death. If he could have been on medication that might have prevented the seizure but was not because Scientology prevents it, that is something that I'd be interested in knowing. I feel for the family but I'll admit that this thought crossed my mind when I first heard of Jett's death.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...