It's been three years since John Travolta and Kelly Preston's 16-year-old son Jett Travolta's tragic death in the Bahamas. Now, the actress is opening up about the health conditions and environmental factors she believes contributed to his sudden passing.
Jett died during the family's vacation in the Bahamas in 2009 after suffering from a seizure and hitting his head on a bathtub. "[Jett] was autistic. He had seizures and when he was very young, he had Kawasaki Syndrome," Preston said on the November 21 episode of The Doctors.
The actress, 50, (pictured above with John and their 2-year-old son, Benjamin, this September) believes Jett's health conditions were caused by a number of factors, including her use of antibiotics while breastfeeding, toxic chemicals in the environment, Kawasaki Syndrome (a rare autoimmune disease), and complications from her "fast and hard" childbirth. The antibiotics, she shares, “gave [Jet] thrush,” an infection of Candida yeast, which some studies have linked with the symptoms of autism.
During the interview, Preston, who's credited Scientology in the past for helping her cope, made a plea for parents to look into organic foods. "I strongly believe as a mother, as does my husband, that there are certain contributing factors that lead to autism and some of it is very much the chemicals in our environment and in our food."
Now, she says that she and John are trying to raise their two younger kids, Benjamin and Ella, 12, in a cleaner, healthier environment.
The exact causes of autism are still a mystery but it's spurred many a debate in Hollywood. Some celebrity mothers like Jenny McCarthy and Holly Robinson Peete have been outspoken, blaming the condition on childhood vaccines and promoting dietary changes among other things. Meanwhile, others like Amanda Peet and many in the medical community have said that not vaccinating children is irresponsible and dangerous, and urge the need for more research into environmental and dietary causes.
More:Kelly Preston Says Scientology Helped Her Cope With Son's Death
John Travolta Sued for Sexual Assault Again
Actress stirs up autism battle with new rally cry for vaccines
From Our Partners:
Prince William Shares Personal Snapshots of Royal Air Force Life (PHOTOS)
Rihanna Fends Off Streakers and Rioting Reporters: 6 Out-Of-Control Moments During Her 777 World Tour (Celebuzz)
The Jerry Maguire star talked about the 16 year old's struggle with autism during a segment taped for U.S. series Doctors, and admitted she and husband John Travolta blamed several factors for his condition.
She says, "(Jett) was autistic. He had seizures and when he was very young, he had Kawasaki syndrome (an autoimmune disease). I strongly believe as a mother, as does my husband, that there are certain contributing factors that lead to autism and some of it is very much the chemicals in our environment and in our food."
Jett suffered a fatal seizure after hitting his head in a bathtub while on a family vacation in the Bahamas, and Preston believes autism contributed to the tragedy.
She fears complications from her "fast and hard" labour and taking antibiotics while breast feeding may have caused him to develop autism.
Preston's episode of Doctors airs in the U.S. on Wednesday (21Nov12).
A private funeral service is set to be held in Ocala, Florida on Thursday afternoon for John Travolta and Kelly Preston's 16-year-old son, Jett. The service is closed to the media, and the exact time has not been disclosed, reports The Huffington Post.
Jett's body was cremated in the Bahamas after his sudden death during the New Year's holiday and his parents flew to Florida with his ashes, a Bahamian lawmaker said on Tuesday, Jan. 6.
Click here for photos of the Travolta family
The final results of the autopsy and the death certificate blames a seizure for the teen's death.
Glen Campbell, assistant director at the Bahamian funeral home, told the Associated Press that Jett's body is in "great condition" without any signs of head trauma, despite police officials who earlier reported the 16-year-old may have hit his head on the bath tub.
Travolta and Preston released their own statements about the death of their son.
Here’s what the couple had to say via KellyPreston.com and Travolta.com:
“We would like to extend our deepest and most heartfelt thanks to everyone who has sent their love and condolences. Jett was the most wonderful son that two parents could ever ask for and lit up the lives of everyone he encountered.”
“We are heartbroken that our time with him was so brief. We will cherish the time we had with him for the rest of our lives. We have received many messages of condolence from around the world and we want to thank everyone for their prayers and support. It has meant so much to us. It is a beautiful reminder of the inherent goodness in the human spirit that gives us a hope for a brighter future. With love, John, Kelly, and Ella.”
The 16-year-old passed away in the Bahamas on Friday, apparently after suffering a seizure and hitting his head on the bathtub according to early reports.
TMZ.com obtained a detailed timeline of the events: "Jett, his family and his two nannies had been boating on Jan. 1. They returned to their townhouse at the Old Bahama Bay Hotel at around 6 p.m. Jett was tired, went into his bedroom and went to sleep. Nanny Jeff Kathrein watched TV in the adjoining room. The other nanny, Eli, returned to the townhouse at around 11:30. Both Jeff and Eli turned in at around that time. After Jeff got up [the next morning], he went into the bathroom and discovered Jett laying on the floor."
Travolta reportedly administered CPR at the scene.
An autopsy is being performed today at Rand Memorial Hospital in the Bahamas by a hospital pathologist, along with an American specialist who is being flown in to guarantee a thorough assesssment. A possible cause of death will be known by the end of the day on Monday, though TMZ is reporting that the Ministry of Heath in the Bahamas says the autopsy findings may never be made public.
The preliminary report will be forwarded on to a coroner, who then forwards the completed report to the Travolta/Preston family, says TMZ. .Only the family has authority to release the findings to the public.
At age 2, Jett was diagnosed with Kawasaki disease, an illness that leads to inflammation of the blood vessels in young children. The condition, which usually affects children from ages 2 to 5, is treatable but can lead to lasting heart damage in rare cases.
TMZ also learned Jett had suffered from grand mal seizures in the past and had taken anti-seizure medicine which the Travolta's say did not work, so the medication was stopped.
A number of celebrities, including Tom Cruise, have called Travolta and Preston offering condolences.
MORE NEWS: Mickey Rourke in 'Iron Man 2'?