How Did John Travolta and Kelly Preston’s Son Jett Die?

Hollywood icon, John Travolta, and his wife, actress Kelly Preston, were married nearly 30 years before Preston’s passing. On July 12, 2020, Preston died after a two-year battle with breast cancer. Travolta posted the news on social media. Unfortunately, this isn’t the first devastating loss Travolta’s endured. The actor and Preston lost their son, Jett Travolta in 2009.

John Travolta’s wife Kelly Preston died from breast cancer

Kelly Preston, Ella Bleu and Jett Travolta
Kelly Preston and their children Jett and Ella pose in this undated picture | Rogers and Cowan via Getty Images

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Kelly Preston and John Travolta were among Hollywood’s most powerful couples. The two have been in the business for decades while building a family of their own.

The two met on the set of The Experts in 1989 — a year after Preston’s first marriage. They married in Paris in 1991 while Preston was pregnant with their firstborn child, Jett Travolta, and have been together ever since.

After a two-year-long battle with breast cancer, Preston died on July 12, 2020. Travolta took to social media to share the news.

“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,” he said, in part. “She fought a courageous fight with the love and support of so many.”

Preston’s death comes 11 years after she and Travolta lost their oldest child, Jett Travolta.

Inside Jett Travolta’s death

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Happy Birthday Jetty! We love you! ❤️

A post shared by John Travolta (@johntravolta) on

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Long before Travolta grieved the loss of his wife, he and Preston grieved the loss of their 16-year-old son, Jett. According to multiple reports, Jett Travolta died in 2009 after hitting his head in a bathtub while having a seizure.

“[Jett] was autistic. He had seizures and when he was very young, he had Kawasaki Syndrome,” Preston said in an episode of The Doctors.

Kawasaki Syndrome is described by The Mayo Clinic as a disease that “causes inflammation in the walls of medium-sized arteries throughout the body. It primarily affects children. The inflammation tends to affect the coronary arteries, which supply blood to the heart muscle.”

The syndrome also “affects glands that swell during an infection (lymph nodes), skin, and the mucous membranes inside the mouth, nose, and throat.”

Preston said in the same interview she and Travolta believed chemicals in food and the environment may have contributed to Jett Travolta’s disorder. She also added she had food poisoning while pregnant, which may have been a factor — as well as his birth which came “fast and hard.”

Along with that, Preston claimed antibiotics she was given to treat a fever while breastfeeding may have been a factor.

“Nobody should have to lose a child. It’s unfathomable,” Preston later said. “But I’m here to say that you can get through it. You can live again. You can want to live again.”

How Travolta and Preston healed from the loss

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Preston and Travolta’s family lawyer said at the time, the death hit Travolta particularly hard.

“Jett may have still been alive when John administered CPR, and then the EMT took over. Jett was pronounced dead at the hospital. I like to believe John had a chance to say goodbye. He may have died in his dad’s arms. I am not certain,” per Us Weekly.

She and Travolta also had a daughter, Ella Bleu Travolta, who was 8 years old when Jett Travolta died. They later went on to have Benjamin Travolta, in 2010.

“We certainly have bonded together,” [John] Travolta told Good Morning America of having a third child. “Certainly having little Ben has been a beautiful kind of glue for us to rebond after a tremendous loss.”

The Pulp Fiction actor previously called the loss “the worst thing that’s ever happened in my life” in an interview via BBC

“The truth is, I didn’t know if I was going to make it. Life was no longer interesting to me, so it took a lot to get me better,” he said.

Now that Preston is gone, too, Travolta, Ella Bleu, and Benjamin will keep both Preston and Jett Travolta’s memories alive.

“I will be taking some time to be there for my children who have lost their mother, so forgive me in advance if you don’t hear from us for a while,” Travolta wrote on Instagram. “But please know that I will feel your outpouring of love in the weeks and months ahead as we heal.”