- The Washington Times - Monday, January 5, 2009

FREEPORT, Bahamas

John Travolta broke his public silence Sunday over the death of his chronically ill 16-year-old son, saying he and his wife, Kelly Preston, are “heartbroken.”

Police Superintendent Basil Rahming has said a caretaker found Jett Travolta unconscious in a bathroom late Friday morning, and he was pronounced dead later at a Freeport hospital. The youth was last seen entering the bathroom on Thursday, according to Mr. Rahming’s police statement.

“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,” Mr. Travolta and Miss Preston said in their first public statement since Jett’s death.

“Jett was the most wonderful son that two parents could ever ask for and lit up the lives of everyone he encountered,” said a statement posted Sunday on Mr. Travolta’s Web site.

“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.”

Miss Preston and Mr. Travolta have said that Jett became sick when he was 2 years old and was diagnosed with Kawasaki syndrome, an illness that leads to inflamed blood vessels in children.

Miss Preston blamed household cleaners and fertilizers, and said that a detoxification program based on teachings from the Church of Scientology helped improve his health, according to People magazine. Others said Jett was prone to seizures.

Michael McDermott, an attorney for the actor, said Sunday that although Jett was last seen Thursday and found the next day, he doesn’t think the teen was in the bathroom for a substantial amount of time.

“The police left the impression that the boy was unsupervised. No. There were two nannies with him for the entire evening,” Mr. McDermott told the Associated Press. “They made it seem like he was sent to the condo and nobody checked in on him until the next morning.”

Mr. McDermott said he had no knowledge of Jett’s medical history but “understood he had a history of seizures.” It was not clear whether Jett was taking medication for that.

The Bahamas’ health minister, Dr. Hubert Minnis, has said that a second, U.S.-certified, pathologist will fly in at dawn Monday to assist with the teenager’s autopsy.

The couple also have an 8-year-old daughter, Ella Bleu.

Mr. Travolta, 54, is trying to finish funeral arrangements and hopes to fly his son’s body to Florida by midweek, Mr. McDermott said. Mr. Travolta and Miss Preston, 46, have a house in Ocala, Fla.

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