Friday, January 02, 2009

Update On Jett Travolta Dies of Seizure Disorder

John Travolta's 16 year old son, Jett Travolta, died today (Jan. 2nd) while vacationing with his family in the Bahamas. Reuters has reported that Jett died from a seizure resulting in a fall where he then hit his head and became unconscious.


The family was staying at the Old Bahama Bay Hotel on Grand Bahama Island. A spokesman for the local police say that the death of 16 year old Jett Travolta occurred when he hit his head on the bathtub as he fell this (Friday) morning around 10:00 a.m.

"At this point, we know that John Travolta and Kelly Preston's only son, Jett, had a seizure at around 10 AM this morning," the family's attorney Michael Ossi told CNN. "All attempts to revive him were unsuccessful."

The Travolta family has long denied rumors that Jett suffered from autism, ( a disordered not recognized by the Church of Scientology) claiming that the boy instead had Kawasaki Syndrome, an inflammatory disorder of the artery walls which often leads to heart disease and other problems. Jett, who had a history of seizures, was the eldest child of Travolta and Preston. The couple also have a daughter, Ella Bleu, who is 8.

In 2003 Preston told Montel Williams that when Jett was 2 he became "very, very ill, but it seemed like flu symptoms" before being diagnosed with Kawasaki disease. The condition, which usually affects children from ages 2 to 5, can cause inflammation of the arteries.

"Jett's whole immune system shut down, and he got really sick with high fevers, 104 and 105," she said. "I kept taking him into the doctor and they didn't know what was wrong with him. He developed a rash on his body, swollen lymph glands—it was horrible."

Doctors at Children's Hospital Los Angeles ultimately diagnosed Jett with Kawasaki disease. "And lo and behold, they don't know how you acquire it, and lo and behold, there were tons of kids in the ICU with Kawasaki's," Preston said. "I'd never even heard of it. And they give you a questionnaire with about 50 questions on it. I went and talked to everybody— every single parent—and everyone had cleaned their carpets in the last couple of weeks. That was one of the questions. So I don't know what the correlation is...I'm just saying we need to know more."

Because of Jett's asthma and allergies, Preston told Williams, "We don't have any chemicals in the house. We're 90 percent organic, though there's some canned foods, a little bit of junk food here and there."

"I had all of this nesting energy. I'm sure you know that feeling. But sometimes when we think we are doing the right thing, like scrubbing the nursery spotless, even cleaning the carpet, we are actually inviting dangerous chemicals into our baby's world. Even what these chemicals leave behind can cause problems, so hold off on using so many cleaners."

The Children's Health Environmental Coalition has also recommended that children stay out of a house where the carpet has just been cleaned for at least four hours. The debate over the exact cause of Kawasaki disease continues, and recent theories have focused on possible bacterial causes and whether children can have a genetic predisposition for infection.

"There is something about the act of shampooing that indirectly caused the outbreak," Dr. David Morens, an epidemiologist at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in Bethesda, Md., told the Austin American-Statesman in 2006. "It had nothing to do with the chemicals in the shampoo or rug fibers, but more likely with bacteria released into the air. There are whole ecosystems in a carpet...bacteria, spores and fungi that live and grow there."

While common symptoms include a high fever, rash and swollen lymph nodes, cardiac complications can include inflammation of blood vessels in the coronary arteries, aneurysms and, in some cases, heart attacks.
Seizures have also been linked to Kawasaki, according to Aetna's InteliHealth site.

Preston, who also said Jett suffered from asthma, blamed household cleaners, fertilizers and pesticides for sparking the condition and lobbied for more detailed labeling on chemical products. She credited a detoxification program based on the writings of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard with helping to improve Jett's health.

Travolta has spoken of his love for Jett by saying:
"He's my first, and he's my heart. And he's a very special boy.....He's Daddy's boy. And...we spend a lot of time together even though I'm pretty busy. He loves the outdoors and he loves to travel. He loves being on the plane. We fly in the ultralight together," he continued. "And...he likes to climb trees and swim."

Here are some Jett Travolta photos with his parents when he was a baby and younger child.The family in images from John Travolta's official website.

I've always loved seeing John Travolta on Oprah and other talk shows. His zest for life, incredible charm and deep love for his wife and children always seemed so inspiring.

It has been reported that John was incredibly close to his son, an that he is completely heartbroken over this incredible loss. According to the family attorney, Mike Ossi, who is in the Bahamas with the actor. "He always said 'I'm happy as long as my kids are happy.'

According to Ossi, 16-year-old Jett was discovered by a nanny on Friday morning around 10 a.m. After the nanny called 911, John Travolta tried in vain to resuscitate his son.
"He didn't want anything to happen to that boy, and he kept on trying to revive him," said Ossi. "He did mouth-to-mouth until they had to physically remove John to take Jett to the hospital."

My heartfelt thoughts go out to the family today. I have a special place in my heart for those who lose a child, as we have shared such a loss with our best friends of almost 30 years. I have felt the heartache of so many bloggers online who have lost children and know just how deep that painful river flows.

Updates:

FREEPORT, Bahamas (Jan. 5) -- Just days after the tragic death of his 16-year-old son Jett, John Travolta and his wife Kelly Preston have issued their first public statement since Jett's death, saying they are "heartbroken" and giving thanks for all of the support they've received.
"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. Jett was the most wonderful son that two parents could ever ask for and lit up the lives of everyone he encountered," said a statement posted Sunday on Travolta's Web site.

The Travolta family has returned to their home in Ocala, Florida. News has further reported that John Travolta continued to perform CPR on Jett, until a medial technician finally took over and that Jett may even had died in his father's arms....continuing an almost intuitive bond that the two shared for all of Jett's life.

The Travolta family has updated their own websites and said:

"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 hope for a brighter future."

1 comment:

  1. This is just such a sad story. I just couldn't imagine!! I just love Kelly Preston too......they are such a down to earth couple and family. Losing a child has to be the most horrific thing that could happen in someone's life. Just like Steven Curtis-Chapman. Another sad story. I enjoy your blog......very colorful layout.

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Michele Bilyeu blogs "With Heart and Hands" as she journeys between Douglas, Alaska and Salem, Oregon.