Why Did Jett Travolta Die? His Mom And Dad Opened Up About The Health Condition That May Have Caused His Death

Date September 20, 2018 17:26

Jett Travolta’s tragic death: what happened to him?

John Travolta and his wife Kelly Preston met the New Year of 2009 as happy parents of two. But on January 2, 2009, a tragedy struck. The couple’s 16-year-old son, Jett Travolta, died when the family was vacationing in the Bahamas.

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READ ALSO: Colin Farrell Opens Up About His Son With Special Needs And Gives Parents Of Such Kids A Valuable Advice

The boy died after he had a seizure and hit his head on the bathtub.

Wild speculations about Jett Travolta’s health circulated in the media and on the internet before and after his death. The boy’s devastated parents wanted to dispel the fiction and finally opened up.

Travolta and Preston confirmed that their son was on the spectrum and had a seizure disorder. They also revealed Jett had Kawasaki disease when he was 2 years old.

In an interview with The Doctors, Preston revealed her thoughts on the possible causes of her son’s conditions. She said she believed chemicals used in cleaning carpets may have contributed to her son’s Kawasaki disease and autism.


A post shared by Kelly Preston (@therealkellypreston) on

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What is Kawasaki disease and can it cause seizures?

To this day, Kawasaki disease remains something of a mystery. It’s still not clear why some children develop it. The disease is quite rare in the United States, but it has been on the rise in Japan, where it was first described.

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Kawasaki disease may cause long-term complications in children, but seizures are not on this list. Speaking to WebMD, Kawasaki disease expert Dr. Nathan Litman said:

I am unaware of any association of Kawasaki disease with seizures.

Kawasaki disease is a childhood disease; according to Dr. Litman, 80 percent of patients are under age 5. The cause of this disease is still unknown, but many researchers believe a virus may be to blame.

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According to WebMD, the main symptom of Kawasaki disease is high fever lasting five or more days. Other signs and symptoms include the following:

  1. Conjunctivitis (pinkeye) affecting both eyes.
  2. Redness of the lips, tongue, and lining of the mouth.
  3. Lymph node swelling in the neck.
  4. A red rash on the skin, which may be flat or bumpy.
  5. Swollen hands and feet with redness of the palms and soles.

The disease usually goes away within a couple of weeks.

The most serious potential complication of Kawasaki disease is damage of the heart arteries, which can increase the risk of a heart attack. Sometimes, the damage becomes apparent only later in life.


READ ALSO: John Travolta Had To Go Through A Lot Losing A Child, And He Opens Up About What Helped Him To Cope

What about autism?

Despite decades of research, causes of autism are still unknown. However, most researchers believe autism has a genetic component.

One theory suggests that children with a genetic predisposition to autism develop it only under certain circumstances influenced by their environment.

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There have been some wild speculations about environmental causes and contributing factors of autism. However, there’s no scientific proof that any of the following causes or contributes to autism:

  1. Vaccines.
  2. Household chemicals.
  3. A child’s upbringing.
  4. Eating foods that contain gluten and lactose.

Speaking about seizures, children with autism may be prone to seizure disorders.

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Every parent wants a definitive answer why their child is sick. If there’s a clear cause, something can be done to avoid it. Unfortunately, this is not the case with autism.

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To keep the memory of his son alive, John Travolta started the Jett Travolta Foundation, a charity aimed at helping children with special needs. He can’t bring his son back, and it’s pointless to speculate about Jett's health now, so focusing on the good things that remain is all that Travolta, his family, and everyone else can do.

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