Jett Travolta, the 16-year-old son of actor John Travolta and his actress Kelly Preston, died Friday, January 2, while on vacation with his family in the Bahamas. Reuters reported that Michael Ossi, the family lawyer, confirmed that Jett Travolta, who suffered from Kawasaki syndrome, had suffered a seizure at the family’s vacation home at the Old Bahama Bay Hotel on Grand Bahama Island. He subsequently struck his head on a bathtub and efforts to revive him failed.
Jett Travolta was the oldest of two children. Ella Bleu is eight years old.
Jett Travolta had a history of seizures brought on by Kawasaki syndrome. Kawasaki syndrome is, according to Dr. Alan Greene, an inflammation of a child’s blood vessels. When a child contracts Kawasaki syndrome, they must be treated within ten days or permanent heart damage may occur. Since no blood test exists for Kawasaki syndrome, a diagnosis is made from symptoms.
Kawasaki Syndrome presents as a fever that lasts at least five days along with the presence of at least four of the following symptoms:
> Red eyes (no discharge)
> Red throat, red and cracked lips, strawberry tongue (white coated with visible swollen red bumps)
> Swelling and/or redness and/or peeling of the skin around toes
> Rash on trunks, limbs, or face
> Swollen lymph nodes
Dr. Greene also suggests that a child with Kawasaki syndrome will understandably be quite irritable. Other symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, headache, burning urination and others may present as well. The child may also become weak, confused, and sensitive to light.
According to Examiner.com, John Travolta and Kelly Preston had taken considerable criticism over the years by refusing to treat Jett’s symptoms as those of an autistic child. The Travoltas have maintained that their son was not autistic.
Kawasaki syndrome is the leading cause of coronary disease that develops in children born without birth defects.
John Travolta, 54, who is one of the youngest actors ever to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor (he was 24 when he was nominated for “Saturday Night Fever”), is the voice of the lead character in Disney’s latest animated movie, “Bolt.” He is currently working on “From Paris with Love.” “Old Dogs,” a movie Travolta stars in with Robin Williams and the late Bernie Mac, is awaiting release.
Kelly Preston, 46, married Travolta in 1991. A successful actress herself, Preston is the spokesperson for Neutragena products. She appears in “Old Dogs” with her husband.