Jett Travolta died in 2009 when the family was holidaying in the Bahamas at the age of 16.
We've all swooned when John Travolta first hit the screens, and his acting chops are easily in the top 5. Yet despite that cheerful demeanor, his personal life hasn't been easy. First, he lost his son, and more recently his wife. While it's not easy grieving the loss of a loved one, Travolta has taken moved forward with grace and makes sure to honor them along the way and celebrate their lives even in death. Travolta took to Instagram to share a photo of him and his late son Jett Travolta. In a heartfelt tribute to Jett on what would have been his 29th birthday, he wrote: Happy birthday my beautiful Jetty. I love you. Jett was born on 13th April 1992.
According to PEOPLE, the tragic incident occurred in 2009, when the family was holidaying in the Bahamas. Jett was just 16 when he suffered a seizure while on a family vacation. Police say Jett hit his head on a bathtub and was pronounced dead at the Rand Memorial Hospital. Travolta and his wife were asleep when their son was in his dying moments, according to E!Online. Jett's nanny had found him unconscious in the bathroom and immediately went to inform his parents. "He was pounding on the door upstairs where we were sleeping. I ran downstairs with my wife to help my son." When Travolta got to his son, he saw that one of the boy's caretakers was performing chest compressions.
As soon as he arrived, Travolta took over the chest compressions with help from the nanny. "Jeff, the other nanny, was doing some compressions," said the Grease actor. "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." Despite their best efforts, Jett could not be saved. "He was autistic," revealed Travolta. "He suffered from a seizure disorder." The poor boy reportedly suffered seizures every five to ten days and each of these seizures lasted around 45 seconds. To recuperate from the seizures, Jett would sleep for 12 hours after each one.
Soon, Travolta was informed that Jett was nearing his final moments, and Tarino Lightbourn, a paramedic who rushed the teen to the hospital, witnessed the heartbreaking moment when the actor was told there was nothing that could be done to save Jett. "John went behind the hospital curtain, tears in his eyes. I could see the sorrow. I could see the love in his eyes for his son." recalled Lightbourn, per iOL. "When he was hugging his son he said, 'I'm sorry, Jett.' I think he meant, 'I'm sorry Jett, I did all I could do,'" he continued. Travolta couldn't process what had just happened.
"He was crying, his eyes were red. I remember him looking up at the ceiling and saying, 'God, please help me,'" said Lightbourn. Soon after, Jett was pronounced dead. At the time, he had his wife and daughter to hold on to, while they grieved the loss together. However, fate was cruel to Travolta yet again, as he had to bade farewell to his wife last year after she died due to cancer. At the time, he shared: It is with a very heavy heart that I inform you that my beautiful wife Kelly has lost her two-year battle with breast cancer. She fought a courageous fight with the love and support of so many. Here's wishing John, Benjamin, and Ella have the courage to hold on to each other, while Kelly and Jett look down on them from heaven!