Jett Travolta: Victim of Autism, Kawasaki, or Scientology?
by Terri Potratz | January 2, 2009 at 04:02 pm
The tragic death of Jett Travolta has brought up some sensitive issues surrounding his health condition and the possible (and perhaps preventable) reasons that may have attributed to his untimely passing.
Both Kelly Preston and John Travolta maintained that Jett, who was 16 when he died, suffered from Kawasaki Disease, which typically affects young children (under 5). There is some suspicion that there is an immunological cause to Kawasaki disease, though this theory has not been proven. Left untreated, the disease can lead to serious heart complications due to an inflammation of blood vessels – and often death due to heart attack.
Kawasaki disease is a treatable disease, and the most effective course is intravenous immunoglobulin, a blood transfusion that is rich in antibodies. If treatment is sought, death due to complications is extremely unlikely:
With early treatment, rapid recovery from the acute symptoms can be expected and the risk of coronary artery aneurysms greatly reduced. Untreated, the acute symptoms of Kawasaki disease are self-limited (i.e. the patient will recover eventually), but the risk of coronary artery involvement is much greater. Overall, about 2% of patients die from complications of coronary vasculitis. Patients who have had Kawasaki disease should have an echocardiogram initially every few weeks, and then every 1-2 years to screen for progression of cardiac involvement.
It is also not uncommon that a relapse of symptoms may occur soon after initial treatment with IVIG. This usually requires re-hospitalization and retreatment. Treatment with IVIG can cause allergic and non-allergic acute reactions, aseptic meningitis, fluid overload and, rarely, other serious reactions. Aspirin may increase the risk of bleeding from other causes and may be associated with Reye’s syndrome. Overall, life-threatening complications resulting from therapy for Kawasaki disease are exceedingly rare, especially compared with the risk of non-treatment.
So what happened to Jett? Reports indicate he hit his head on a bathtub, but it is unclear whether he was having a seizure at the time, or if he slipped, or if something else preceded his fall. Was this a complication of his bout with Kawasaki disease? Or autism?
Many people suspected that Jett was autistic (videos which were once available online that ‘clearly’ demonstrate Jett’s developmental disability can no longer be found), but Travolta and Preston are prominent Scientologists and autism is not recognized by the cult religion:
In the past there have been reports that Jett was autistic, but Travolta always denied it, saying instead that his son suffered from Kawasaki Syndrome, a disease characterized by high fever, skin rash and swelling of the lymph nodes. Travolta follows Scientology, which does not recognize autism.
One of the tenets of Scientology is that mental illness is psychosomatic, and can only be treated through spiritual healing. You may remember Tom Cruise earning significant flak for statements to Matt Lauer concerning mental illness, namely his remark that psychiatry is a pseudo-science. Because of this fundamental belief on behalf of Scientologists, Jett certainly wasn’t treated for autism, and was likely not appropriately treated for Kawasaki disease either (especially if his condition was misdiagnosed, as many people suspect it was).
Last year, one website wrote an eerily prophetic post concerning this event:
Four years ago, Kelly got out her hounds-tooth coat and pipe and giant magnifying glass and used her sleuthiness to determine that the cause was environmental toxins. Specifically, carpet cleaning chemicals. Then Kelly used a Scientology endorsed program created by L. Ron Hubbard to cure him. And it worked! No, wait, did I say, “it worked”? I meant to say, “it failed completely!”The real problem of course isn’t carpet based treachery, it’s that Jett has autism, and no amount of meadow-scented deception is behind it. He’s never been officially diagnosed of course, since the “church” won’t allow it, but outsiders who know the affliction well say the signs are clearly evident.
I say we give the Scientology method a few more years to kick in. Soon, Jett will be dead. Ta-da!
Critics of Scientology have been crying ‘child abuse’ for years in respect to the Travolta’s disregard for autism and their unwillingness to address Jett’s needs.
Folks picketed the Travolta/Preston family, saying that their refusal to seek treatment for the boy bordered on-or, you know, flat out was-child abuse. Travolta’s brother Joey even produced a movie about the condition, but the family continued to shut down any reports that autism was involved.
Neighbours of the Travolta’s, who also happen to be parents of an autistic child, had nothing short of shocking stories to tell with regard to Jett and how he was treated within the family:
The Kennys also claim that Kelly and John “let Jett sit in front of video games all day eating junk food, while they eat the best organic food money can buy. They exclude Jett from all social events because they are embarrassed.”
“Once,” reports Kenny, “when Kelly took him to the movies, Jett started to have a meltdown and Kelly pointed at the nanny and ordered, ‘Take care of it.'”
“Jett does not speak at all,” confirms Kenny. “He has not even been taught how to communicate. We struggle every week to pay for our daughter’s therapy. How dare he [Travolta] ruin his own son’s chances of recovering! We want to get the word out on this.”