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. Continua a leggere