A son’s death is the probably the worst thing that could probably happen to any parent. It’s difficult to say what anyone would do in that situation, especially if you’re Hollywood material. A decade after John Travolta and Kelly Preston lost their son Jett (2009), they shared a sweet message. Travolta had posted a picture on Instagram of a fan’s painting of his son with the caption, “A painting a fan made of my son Jett! Happy birthday my son I love you!”
John Travolta and wife Kelly Preston had welcomed their son on April 13, 1992. Jett Travolta, who would have celebrated his 27th birthday last year, passed away during a family vacation in the Bahamas after experiencing a seizure. The 16-year-old, at the time, hit his head in a bath and was declared dead at the Rand Memorial Hospital. The family had later shared that Jett had autism, which is what most likely caused the seizure, in hopes of educating others about autism awareness. Back in 2003, Kelly Preston revealed that Jett Travolta had Kawasaki Syndrome, which is a condition associated with inflammation of the arteries, and was diagnosed when he was 2-years-old.
Later, in an interview after his son’s death, Travolta had said that was “the worst thing” that has happened in his life. Travolta, along with his wife, stated that what saved the family was the church of Scientology, which helped them deal with the loss. According to Scientology.org, the religion offers a “precise path leading to a complete and certain understanding of one’s true spiritual nature.” The religion addresses the spirit itself, rather the body or mind, and believes that Man is more than a product of his genes or environment.
After Jett’s death, the family had received heavy criticism from the public, saying the 16-year-old’s death could have been avoided by anti-seizure medication that could have controlled the attacks. This after scientology usually reject theories on medicine, since the church discourages the use of any medicine believing it can damage it over time. Despite the criticism, both parents repeatedly denied the speculation, stating the boy’s death was an accident.
Preston also took to social media to honor her son, sharing a few photos of Jett with the family. Many have flooded the comment section on Instagram, with loving and heartfelt messages toward their late son. A week prior to Jett’s 27th birthday, Preston shared a photo of Jett to mark Autism Awareness Month.
Travolta and Preston also have two other children,19-year-old Ella, and 8-year-old Benjamin. Their son Benjamin, was born after Jett passed away, which both parents said he was a great help in healing the hearts of not just both of them, but their daughter Ella. During an interview with Good morning America, Travolta shared how Ben helped the family become closer, stating, “Certainly having little Ben has been a beautiful kind of glue for us to re-bond after the tremendous loss. He’s given the house a renewed spirit and purpose.”
Happy Birthday up in the clouds, Jett.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published April 15, 2019.