He had later revealed that losing his child is the worst thing to have happened to him.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on January 3, 2023. It has since been updated.
John Travolta was a doting father whose world revolved around his family. According to PEOPLE, tragedy struck Travolta and his family when his 16-year-old son suffered a seizure during a family vacation in the Bahamas.
Jett, who was born with autism, changed Travolta's life the minute he was born. At the time of his birth, the Hollywood icon was quoted by PEOPLE to have said, "I can’t imagine what life would be like without Jett. After he was born and cleaned up, I held him for hours while Kelly slept. When they came to take him away for various tests, I said, ‘No, you can’t see him today. You’ll have to do it another day.’ I went a little nutsy.”
When the unexpected tragedy happened, his young boy was 16 years old. E!News had quoted the actor sharing his nervousness and grief when he recalled the event. They were in the family’s vacation home on Grand Bahama Island. "He was pounding on the door upstairs where we were sleeping. I ran downstairs with my wife to help my son," said the 66-year-old actor. He added that the caretakers were already trying to save Jett who suffered a seizure. "..the other nanny, was doing some compressions. I was doing the breathing. I took the place of the woman who was doing CPR."
Jett had a history of regular seizures so the family was prepared. Yet this time, they could not save him.
Tarino Lightbourn, a paramedic who arrived at the scene recalled how distraught the star looked when he was performing CPR, while his wife Kelly Preston looked on. The medic saw the star in tears hoping to save him at any cost. Tarino explained: "He was crying, his eyes were red. I remember him looking up at the ceiling and saying, 'God, please help me.' "
Lightbourn was the one who rushed the teen to the hospital. He also bore witness to the moment the news that their son was no more was broken to the couple. He said, "John went behind the hospital curtain, tears in his eyes. I could see the sorrow. I could see the love in his eyes for his son," IOL quoted him. He continued, "When he was hugging his son he said, 'I'm sorry, Jett.' I think he meant, 'I'm sorry Jett, I did all I could do.'"
In a 2019 interview with US Weekly, the Pulp Fiction actor opened up about the pain of losing a child and it was evident that even after decades he hasn't been able to move on. His tearful confessions also show that life never remains the same after losing a child. "It’s the worst thing that’s ever happened in my life. The truth is, I didn’t know if I was going to make it." After six years of Jett's passing, the 66-year-old actor shared a heartbreaking tribute to his son. "They say the hardest thing in the world is losing a parent. I can now say that isn't true. The hardest thing in the world is losing a child. Someone you raised and watched grow every day. Someone you taught how to walk and talk. Someone you showed how to love. It's the worst thing to ever happen to anyone," wrote the actor on Facebook, according to Mirror.
He continued, "He brought me so much joy. He was my everything. Those 16 years of being his father taught me how to love unconditionally."
He had an important message to share for everyone: "We have to stop and be thankful for our children and children should stop and be thankful for their parents. Because life is very short. Spend time with your parents and parents spend time with your children. Treat them well. Because, one day, when you look up from your phone, they won't be there anymore." At last, he said, "What I truly learned most of all is, live and love every day like it's your last. Because, one day, it will be."
Travolta, who still hasn't gotten over his son's death suffered another massive loss last year. On July 12, 2020, his wife Kelly Preston died at the age of 57 at her home in Clearwater, Florida, two years after she had been diagnosed with breast cancer.
Cover Image Source: (L) Getty Images | Photo by Christopher Polk ; (R) Instagram/Kelly Preston