As I’m sure you’ve already read, John Travolta and Kelly Preston’s 16-year-old son, Jett, died on Friday while the family was vacationing in the Bahamas. Over the weekend, more details came out about the tragic news, though conclusive evidence on what exactly caused Jett’s death with only come after an autopsy is performed today. But here is what we do know:
Jett is believed to have had a seizure while he was in the bathroom and hit his head on the bathtub when he fell. It’s not known for sure whether the seizure caused him to fall or if the fall, and hitting his head on the tub, caused him to have the seizure.
Jett had a history of seizures and also had a full-time nanny, Jeff Michael Kathrain. Jeff may be best known for being the “mysterious blond man” kissing Travolta in a tabloid photo from a few years ago.
There are conflicting reports about how long Jett was left undiscovered — the Travolta’s claim he was found right away, while a police report says that he was found the morning after going into the bathroom, nearly 10 hours later. Travolta supposedly tried to resuscitate his son while waiting for an ambulance to arrive.
Jett was definitely a child with special needs, though what caused those special needs is up for debate. Travolta and Preston have said that Jett suffered from Kawasaki’s Syndrome as a child, brought on by exposure to harsh chemicals in household cleaners. Preston said that this caused Jett to have severe allergies, among other things. She said he was successfully treated through various Scientology methods — Travolta and Preston are dedicated followers of the religion.
Others, however, believe that Jett was autistic and that autism caused him to suffer from seizures. Travolta and Preston have denied this repeatedly, though it should be noted that in Scientology, no such diagnosis exists. Scientologists don’t believe in autism or other forms of developmental illness and also reject traditional psychotherapy and psychiatry.
Regardless, Preston and Travolta have said that Jett did take anti-seizure medication, but that the medication was stopped when it was proven to be ineffective.
Lastly, Travolta and Preston, along with 8-year-old daughter Ella, released the following statement about their son’s death:
“We would like to extend our deepest and most heartfelt thanks to everyone who has sent their love and condolences. Jett was the most wonderful son that two parents could ever ask for and lit up the lives of everyone he encountered. We are heartbroken that our time with him was so brief. We will cherish the time we had with him for the rest of our lives. We have received many messages of condolence from around the world and we want to thank everyone for their prayers and support. It has meant so much to us. It is a beautiful reminder of the inherent goodness in the human spirit that gives us ahope for a brighter future.”