Jett Travolta, who had autism, died in January 2009 at the age of 16.
There's nothing that can quite describe the unimaginable feeling of loss and grief for a parent whose child passes away; the pain must be so unbearable and overwhelming to bear. John Travolta is no stranger to tragedy and heartbreak. His son, Jett Travolta died at the age of 16 in January 2009 from a seizure during a family holiday in the Bahamas. Through the years, the family went through devastating pain, but they always remembered to honor Jett. Recently, the Grease actor celebrated the birthday of his late son with a touching tribute shared on Instagram which read: Happy birthday my beautiful Jetty. I love you. John Travolta is also the parent of 21-year-old Ella and 10-year-old Benjamin. Ella also shared a tribute to her late sibling, writing: I love you Jetty. Happy Birthday❤️
The unimaginable tragedy took place back in 2009 when Travolta and his late wife Kelly Preston were woken up by the nanny who had found Jett unconscious in the bathroom. "He was pounding on the door upstairs where we were sleeping. I ran downstairs with my wife to help my son," said the now 67-year-old Travolta according to E! Online. "Jeff, the other nanny, was doing some compressions," he said. "I was doing the breathing. I took the place of the woman who was doing CPR. She was an employee of Old Bahama Bay who I recognized as such." Sadly, nothing could save the boy who suffered from regular seizures. He had Kawasaki disease (a condition that causes inflammation in the walls of some blood vessels in the body) and autism, too. "He was autistic," he said. "He suffered from a seizure disorder" which caused his son seizures every five to 10 days and that each seizure lasted around 45 seconds. Jett would usually sleep for 12 hours after an episode.
While it took the actor and his wife years to come to terms with this loss, Travolta was struck by another tragedy. This time his wife of over 28 years... Kelly Preston lost her life to cancer on Sunday, July 12, last year. The pair first met in 1989 at a screen test for their 1989 comedy, The Experts. At the time, Preston was married to her SpaceCamp costar Gage in 1985 but she knew she was with the "wrong person" and their marriage ended after two years. According to PEOPLE, when asked by Andy Cohen on Watch What Happens Live if it was love at first sight when she met Travolta, Preston said, "Kinda." "Well, I was not that happily married, let’s put it that way," she continued. "I was really with the wrong person." Once she was single again, the two began dating. The actress best known for her work in Jerry Maguire, What A Girl Wants, and Twins, eventually married Travolta in 1991 and later shared three children together: Benjamin, Ella, and Jett.
Benjamin who is now 10 years came into the couple's lives two years after Jett's death. Amid all the grief and pain, little Benjamin helped the family find love and joy again. “Certainly having little Ben has been a beautiful kind of glue for us to rebond after tremendous loss,” Travolta said in an interview with Good Morning America. “He’s given the house a renewed spirit and purpose,” the actor added to PEOPLE in 2011. As they manouvered through finding joy again, it's heartbreaking that the family would suffer another loss in the form of Kelly Preston.
Despite it all, John Travolta is looking forward. On his social media, the dad can be seen spending some happy moments with his two children. Two weeks ago he celebrated his daughter's birthday where she turned 21. This would have been her first birthday without her mom. He posted on Instagram, saying: Happy 21st birthday to the most beautiful, kind, human being and artist I know. Your dad adores you! The Hairspray actor even recreated his iconic Grease movies alongside his daughter in a Super Bowl LV commercial for Scotts Miracle-Gro. It just goes to show that no matter how much pain this family has been through, they are so resilient and they are doing their best to keep pushing forward. We hope they find healing and happiness in the years to come.