Jett Travolta’s cause of death is confirmed, friends talk about the tragedy

Jett Travolta has died as a result of a seizure, his death certificate has confirmed. There are no suspicious circumstances and his body has been returned to his family. The autopsy results may or may not be released to the pubic.

John Travolta and Kelly Preston’s 16-year-old son, Jett, who had a history of health problems, was killed by a “seizure,” according to the death certificate issued today.

While the official results of an autopsy today have yet to been publicly announced, mortician Glen Campbell of the Restview Memorial Mortuary in the Bahamas confirmed to E! News that cause of death was a seizure and “there was no sign of head trauma.”

“The body was in good condition,” Campbell said.

A source close to the proceedings also told E! News that a preliminary report on Jett’s death determined “there is no foul play,” corroborating what a Travolta family lawyer initially stated last Friday.

“It is not a suspicious death. The body wouldn’t already be turned over to the mortuary if there was anything suspicious,” the source said. Autopsies are standard procedure in the Bahamas in cases of sudden death.

E! News

I don’t think there was much question of Jett’s cause of death, given his medical history, but an autopsy stops any questions that might linger for the family. Please note that the ‘no sign of head trauma’ comment is from the mortician, not the pathologist, who would know more accurately the signs of head trauma. This does not mean that Jett didn’t hit his head, as reported earlier. Death certificates can be strange in their causes – my grandfather died of cancer, but on his death certificate it says ‘heart failure’ because that was technically his cause of death.

The lawyers of the Travolta family have given a statement suggesting that Jett may have died in his father’s arms.

“He never dreamed of this – their relationship was so close,” says family attorney Mike Ossi, who is in the Bahamas with the actor. “He always said ‘I’m happy as long as my kids are happy.’ He is heartbroken … To bury your son is the worst thing you can ever do.”

According to Ossi, 16-year-old Jett was discovered by a nanny on Friday morning around 10 a.m. After the nanny called 911, John Travolta tried in vain to resuscitate his son.

“He didn’t want anything to happen to that boy, and he kept on trying to revive him,” said Ossi. “He did mouth-to-mouth until they had to physically remove John to take Jett to the hospital.”

The teen, who is the only son of Travolta, 54, and Preston, 46, has a history of having seizures. Police spokeswoman Loretta Mackey told the Associated Press that Jett hit his head in a bathtub Friday morning and was declared dead at Rand Memorial Hospital.

According to Ossi, around 5:30 p.m. on Jan. 1, John said goodnight to his son, who was tired from a long day spent on the water with his family. Jett went to his room with his nanny. “He always had a nanny by his side because he had a history of seizures,” says Ossi. “John took extra precautions. [Jett] was never alone.”

Mike McDermott, John’s corporate counsel, adds, “John did everything in his power to revive [his son.] John and Jett had a very strong relationship. Words cannot explain how close they were. This will take a lot of time. His life will never be the same again.”


I hope this is true, because, as Ossi points out, this is the worst case scenario for any parent. Being with them when they died would be the best outcome you could possibly hope for in these circumstances.

Yesterday the emergency crew spoke about the scene, saying that both John and his wife Kelly Preston traveled with Jett in the ambulance to the hospital, where they were speaking to him.

This is just such a tragedy. People magazine have dug up an interview with John Travolta where he says in 1994 that he can’t imagine life without his son. No parent wants to think about what life would be like without them, it’s just too horrifying. I’m hugging my kids a little tighter today; my heart goes out to the Travolta family.

Photos courtesy of

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29 Responses to “Jett Travolta’s cause of death is confirmed, friends talk about the tragedy”

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  1. SolitaryAngel says:

    My deepest sympathies to them; my heart hurts at the beauty of the second thumbnail photo. Such love and pride in their faces! No matter what I think of their “religion”, losing a child is unthinkable, and I grieve for them and with them.

  2. GrnMtGirl says:

    I adore the picture of Jett cradling John – how touching…

  3. barneslr says:

    I agree, Angel. Parents should not outlive their children. I can’t imagine the pain they are feeling right now. My prayers are with them.

  4. 88modesty88 says:

    These photos are gorgeous.

    My heart goes out to the family.

  5. SeVen says:

    I agree… deepest sympathy to them and as far as the Scientology, im more willing to accept it with Travolta as hes not trying to force feed it to us… Hes a little sane with it. Anyways. Those pictures make my little heart so sad. Prayers of all kinds to them.

  6. geronimo says:

    Beautiful pics, Jett looks so much like John.

  7. Rosebudd says:

    The Photos are so beautiful and heartwarming. Such a handsome and sweet looking young man. My heart is out to the Travoltas. I hope little Ella will be O.K. as she is so young and I’m sure Jett was her great big brother & companion. There are no words, such a tragedy & terrible loss for a nice family.

  8. SW says:

    I’m loving the second picture as well, I hope John will always be able to feel that kiss that his son has placed on his head. It’s so very sad for all of them, I’m crying for them. I hope the family can find some peace within themselves to get through this and be able to be strong for little Ella…she is going to need the most right now.

  9. Starla says:

    I cannot begin to even imagine what they are going through. My deepest & heartfelt conolances to John, Kelly & Ella. I think what makes this even worse is that they have to come home from their holiday without Jett. My heart hurts for them.

  10. RReedy says:

    A prayer for them ALL.

  11. BamaGuy says:

    Absolutely heartbreaking. I am sure Jett’s tragically brief life was wonderful, because he was surrounded by love. I feel so sad for his parents – there are no words… looking at the photo of him kissing his dad make me cry

  12. Nouvel says:

    This is absolutely heart breaking. I love John Travolta so much and I feel so terribly for him and Kelly. YouTube has some ‘in memory’ of videos of Jett and the family and they are absolutely heart wrenching. God bless them and I hope they find the strength and understanding they need to pick themselves up to get through this. Please help them dear Lord.

  13. Ophelia says:

    The second picture makes me cry every time I see it.
    I think the Co$ is totally f*cked up, but really, I think one undeniable thing is that he loves his son. And in all honesty, that’s all that matters right now. He may have screwed up hugely by denying autism care for Jett, but I think it was an honest mistake. If you have to make a terrible mistake, an honest one is the easiest kind. Religion, of any kind, should be questioned in my opinion so this is no different to me than doctors who “leave it to god” instead of doing everything until that patient has died. But even my huge distaste for religion doesn’t matter as much to me here, when I see those pictures. I hope I’m wrong and there is a heaven and that’s where Jett is.

  14. vdantev says:

    Seizure? Damn. My condolences to the family.

  15. This is really sad to know this. My deepest sympathy is with them. May soul rest in peace

  16. Zoe says:

    God those pictures are so sweet, this is so sad.

    I have a couple of questions if anyone can answer them:

    What do Scientologists think happens after death? Do they believe in heaven, or reincarnation?

    Why don’t the news articles mention Kelly? They seem so John-centric. Is this a Scientology thing or just a level-of-fame issue? She is his mother, afterall.

    How does someone die from a seizure? Is it like an anyeurism (sp?) or a heart attack or stroke?

  17. geronimo says:

    @Zoe – from Timesonline:

    “Scientologists have no set rules or customs regarding how a person’s remains should be disposed of as it attaches little meaning to the physical form, believing that the body is simply a vehicle for one’s spiritual self – or “thetan” – which they consider immortal. As a result they do not conduct funerals, only memorial services to fete the departed, acknowledge their accomplishments and wish them well in their future existence. During the service, the minister emphasises that the person’s spiritual being has simply moved on into a new life and thanks them for the time they have spent with their loved ones. Bodies may be either cremated or interred. “Simply put, you have lived before and will live again, lifetime after lifetime,” Tommy Davis, head of the Church of Scientology’s Celebrity Centre International in Los Angeles, told MSNBC.”

    I’ve noticed that too re much of the coverage – focus seems to be very much on John’s grief – not sure why, possibly because he’s more well known?

  18. jeannified says:

    Very sad…I hope the family can heal together.

  19. Whitey Fisk says:

    Wow, that’s just beyond horrible.

    I knew Jett was born with health issues, but have they ever publicly confirmed anything? What was the problem specifically?

    I know it doesn’t matter at this point, but is it possible they were treating epilepsy (or some known disorder) with vitamins and exercise instead of medication? I know tragedies like this can happen regardless, but I am curious as to whether the Travoltas are as anti-pharmaceutical as *ahem* other scientologists.

  20. Wif says:

    Excuse my ignorance, but I didn’t realize that you could die of a seizure. I thought that all seizure deaths were from severity of hitting your head, or choking while eating or what have you. I never knew that the seizure itself could do it. What a shock for the family.

  21. Zoe says:

    @ geronimo: thanks for the info, I’m glad that they can take solace in something like that.

  22. Aspen says:

    I hope that Jett was not frightened or aware while this thing happened to him…and I hope that his poor parents find some peace with it somehow. Oh, that’s just so sad.

  23. Kim says:

    Beautiful pictures. Sad situation all around. Sadder still that it is being hijacked by certain elements. I can’t imagine that there will be any healing soon, but hopefully they can pick up the pieces and move on.

    I love that second picture. It speaks volumes.

  24. slow wine says:

    with all the different stories that is coming up about Jett’s death we all have to understand for any parent to loose a child at any age is hard (sudden). We should not judge john and scientology it is not the place he has lost a son.

  25. piedlourde says:

    Fuck — I’m bawling my eyes out. This is too sad.

    I really hope that Scientology won’t use this tragedy to score pity points.

  26. Leanne says:

    John and Kelly are one hollywood couple that have been an example of how a marriage really should be and what a family really should be like. They are wonderful and honest people. You do not hear anything nasty about either one of them but good loving things. A perfect example to all of the celebrities who are just wasting their lives not knowing how or what to do with their riches..

    Time is a great healer and with time it would heal their hearts just to remember the good and loving times they spent with Jett. They just need to thank God for their daughter and the precious family time all of them had together. God knows best.. May be he saved Jett from a worse death… who knows.. He could have got sick in a worse way and died suffering. This is better that that. God knew it was time for him.

  27. travotafans says:

    As a mom of an autistic son with epilepsy, I will tell you, it’s very difficult. My son is also on depakote. depakote is linked to hyperammonia and liver damaage, so many parents are scared to keep administering this drug. However, there are things you can do to stop the hyperammoina and liver issues. For example, you give lactalose to mitigate the hyperammonia. You also give Milk Thistle. I don’t know if the Travolta’s knew this. But if they didn’t, who can blame them> It isn’t common medical knowledge. Also, seizures with autism are very difficult to treat, Even experts are baffled. What works for one case, may not be effective in another case. For example, our autistic son with epilepsy responded well to combination of Keppra 1500 BID, Lamictatl 400 BId and Depakote 500 BID, with adjunct of tranxene BID. and that seems to help. Okay, so that worked for our son, but that doesn’t mean it would’ve saved Jett. The point here is the Travolta’s were dealing with a very complex case of autism and seizures and if you even dare judge this family you are foolish, because this is very complicated stuff.

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