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John Travolta's teenage son dies, autopsy planned

world Updated: Jan 03, 2009 23:22 IST
John Travolta's teenage son dies

Police in the Bahamas on Saturday planned for an autopsy in the death of Hollywood superstar John Travolta's teenage son a day after he was found unconscious in the bathroom during a family vacation.

Jett Travolta, 16, had a history of seizures since he was a toddler and suffered one on Friday "at around 10:00 am," the actor's attorney, Michael Ossi, told CNN. "All attempts to revive him were unsuccessful."

The youth was the only son of the 54-year-old film star -- also a trained jet pilot -- and actress Kelly Preston, 46. They have a daughter, Ella, aged eight.

Jett's death "was completely out of the blue," Ossi said on the news network's website. "This is the worst day of John's life."

The precise cause of death was not known, Ossi said.

Jett Travolta was last seen on New Year's Day when he went to use the bathroom at the family's residence at the Old Bahama Bay Resort on Grand Bahama island, Police Chief Superintendent Basil Rahming said in a statement.

"He was discovered in the bathroom in an unconscious state around 10:00 am" the next day by a caretaker, the statement said.

"Arrangements are being made to have an autopsy performed, in order to determine the exact cause of death," the police chief said.

A burial was planned after the autopsy in Ocala, Florida, where the family has a home.

Travolta has denied reports that his son was autistic, saying he suffered from Kawasaki Syndrome, a condition that can lead to heart disease, US media reported.

Kawasaki Syndrome, also known as lymph node syndrome, affects many organs, including the skin and mucous membranes, lymph nodes, blood vessel walls, and the heart. It was first described in 1967 by Dr. Tomisaku Kawasaki in Japan. The condition mostly affects children under the age of five.

In more serious cases, the syndrome can lead to an eventual inflammation of the blood vessels.

The teen had a life complicated by health woes from a young age.

"Preston, who also said Jett suffered from asthma, blamed household cleaners, fertilizers and pesticides for sparking (his health) condition and lobbied for more detailed labeling on chemical products," People magazine said in its online edition.

"She credited a detoxification program based on the writings of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard with helping to improve Jett's health," People reported.

Both Travolta and his wife belong to the Church of Scientology.

Travolta, famous for roles on television and in films such as "Grease," "Pulp Fiction" (1994) and "True Colors" (1991), received Academy Award nominations for the disco epic "Saturday Night Fever" (1977) and gritty "Pulp Fiction."

Raised in Englewood, New Jersey, Travolta first gained fame in the 1970s playing a wise-cracking high school student in the television show "Welcome Back, Kotter" before he landed his role in "Saturday Night Fever."