Saturday, January 3, 2009

Jett Travolta Dies at 16

(Culled from various sources)

John Travolta's 16-year-old son, Jett, was found unconscious in the bathtub of the family's vacation home in the Bahamas on Friday Jan. 2 at 10 am.

He was rushed to Freeport's Rand Memorial Hospital on Grand Bahama Island but was declared dead on arrival.

The exact cause of death is unknown at this stage. Apparently he fell and fatally hit his head.

The teenager, however, had a history of seizures which the Travolta family attributed to the sequel of the Kawasaki disease (click here to hear Travolta speak about his son's rare syndromes).

Kawasaki disease is a condition that causes inflammation in the walls of small- and medium-sized arteries throughout the body, including the coronary arteries. It mostly affects children from ages 2 to 5. Identified by a Japanese doctor, Tomisaku Kawasaki in 1967, Kawasaki disease can cause serious complications of the heart and the blood vessels that supply the heart.

However, rumors that Jett really suffered from autism rather than the Kawasaki decease have long swirled in Hollywood. Travolta and wife Kelly Preston have never publicly admitted that Jett had ever been diagnosed with the condition.

Anti-Scientologists and Anonymous have been quick to jump on the news, since Travolta and Preston are both prominent member of the Church of Scientology, and within minutes of the death announcement were already busy filling news comments with insensitive accusations and bigoted myths, while the family only started mourning their own and was at the height of an unimaginable pain.

Police said they are planning an autopsy on Monday to determine the cause of death. After the autopsy the body will be buried or cremated in Ocala, Florida, close to where the family lives. Dr. Mark Smith, the Travolta family doctor, plans to give a statement after the autopsy.

The family arrived in the Bahamas on a private plane Tuesday Dec. 30 and had been vacationing at their home in the Old Bahama Bay resort community.

"The Travolta family has become like family to us at Old Bahama Bay and we extend our deepest sympathies to them," said Robert Gidel, president of Ginn Resorts, the property's owner.

The family is of course devastated. John had in the past emphatically expressed how much his son meant to him. quoted John Travolta as speaking affectionately about his son during an interview with the Australian media several years ago. "He's my first, and he's my heart. And he's a very special boy," John Travolta said. "He's Daddy's boy."

In 1994 the actor told People how much he loved fatherhood. "I can't imagine what life would be like without Jett," he said.

Our deepest condolences go to John and his family. Losing a child is parents' worst fear, something for which there can be no words.

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