January 3, 2009 in Nation/World

John Travolta’s son dies in Bahamas

Jett, 16, may have had seizure, hit head
By JUAN McCARTNEY Associated Press
 

NASSAU, Bahamas – John Travolta’s teenage son, Jett, died in the Bahamas after apparently suffering a seizure and hitting his head at his family’s vacation home, authorities said Friday.

A house caretaker found Jett, 16, unconscious in a bathroom late Friday morning. He was taken by ambulance to a Freeport hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The teenager had last been seen entering the bathroom on Thursday and had a history of seizures, according to the statement. An autopsy is planned.

Jett apparently hit his head on the bathtub, said a police officer who declined to be named because she was not authorized to speak on the matter.

Jett was the oldest child of Travolta, 54, and his wife, actress Kelly Preston, 46, who also have an 8-year-old daughter, Ella Bleu.

Preston and Travolta have said that Jett became very sick when he was 2 years old and was diagnosed with Kawasaki disease, an illness that leads to inflammation of the blood vessels in young children. She blamed household cleaners and fertilizers, and said that a detoxification program based on teachings from the Church of Scientology helped improve his health, according to People magazine. Both Travolta and Preston are practicing Scientologists.

It is unclear whether Jett was taking any medications for his seizures.

The Travoltas had arrived in the Bahamas on a private plane Tuesday and were 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.

Travolta’s corporate and commercial attorney, Michael McDermott, said the actor had a very strong relationship with his son.

“There was unspoken communication between the two. … It’s just so hard,” he said in a telephone interview with the Associated Press. “Kelly is very quiet and both are grieving.”

McDermott said his family and other friends are with the couple in the Bahamas. The group came for a two-day New Year’s celebration and had planned to return to Florida on Sunday.

“We’re all here and trying to help in any way we can,” McDermott said. “Their pain is so evident.”

Obie Wilchcombe, a parliament member and former tourism minister in the Bahamas, said an autopsy is planned for Monday, and “we expect a quick resolution.”

“John spoke with the minister of health and the doctors and police are at the hospital. They’re very, very quick to resolve things,” he said.

Wilchcombe said the Travoltas had invited 60 friends for the New Year’s holiday weekend.

“They’re needed today more than ever before,” he said.

© Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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