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John Travolta's Son: Meds Ultimately Didn't Work

1/5/2009 5:00 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

TMZ has learned more about the medical condition of John Travolta's son, Jett, and the medication that ultimately didn't work.

We're now told the grand mal seizures Jett suffered were "frequent and extremely serious." Travolta's lawyers, Michael Ossi and Michael McDermott, tell us "each seizure was like a death," with Jett losing consciousness and convulsing.

We now know Jett was taking a drug called Depakote, a strong anti-seizure medication. There have been reports Travolta refused to give his son anti-seizure meds because of Scientology but those stories are not true.

Jett had been having seizures on an average of every four days, until he started taking Depakote. Ossi and McDermott say the drug initially worked, reducing the frequency to approximately once every three weeks.

Jett took Depakote for "several years," but it eventually lost its effectiveness, according to Ossi and McDermott. They say the Travoltas were concerned about possible physical damage. And, Jett went back to having around one seizure a week. So Travolta and Preston, after consulting neurosurgeons, stopped administering the drug. No one is suggesting withdrawal of the medicine in any way caused the fatal episode.


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Face What: You do make some very good and very intelligent points, no question. I suppose it was inevitable that this tragedy would end up in yet another argument about religion and this is very sad, since a family lost a child. However since you brought up the Amish, some disturbing facts are coming forth about that religion, seems they are one of the largest perpetrators of puppy mills. This is not the place to discuss that but I felt it necessary to mention it and hopefully people will look it up at their convenience.
Meanwhile, back on topic....Parents lost child, parents are devastated.

2120 days ago


john travola and his wife both refused his son medication if thats true then both john travolta and his wife are as much too blaim for jetts death as the meds not working first degree murder''s seizers or not jet still didnt know how too walk he still slipped and fell over his own two feet lol clutse is a clutse

2120 days ago

Sue Wong    

Posts number 72 and 79 said it well. You just cannot judge unless you walk in someone's shoes.

2120 days ago


Leela, I am aware of what Scientology is and how it started. My point is it is not for anyone to say what anyone can or cannot believe in. What ever this family believes in is Their right! You don't have to agree with it. The fact here is a boy has died and whatever the reason or how it transpired, it is a tragedy for this family. As a parent and a human being, my heart goes out to this family for their great loss.

2120 days ago


Look people ranting about Scientology and non-scientology, Everybody dies from SOMETHING! You all will die, I will die, this kid died because he was born with an ailment of great proportions and died from a result of his illness.Do not judge This family, only judge yourself when someone close to you dies. They apparently were prepared for a tragedy because they had alot of things watching him at all times. Do not think for a moment that in his early years of Jett's life that the doctors gave a good prognosis. With this kind of illness, it could only be an outcome like this. Ihave heard of people seizing in bed and flailing onto the floor and breaking their necks and dying.It happens. I just wish that as a celebrated couple with a child who has this illness, they could have been more open about it and idiots like some people on this post would have been prepared for this.I personally did NOT know John had a son until this happened!Really! No Idea! And now that I know, it's too late he's dead! My deepest condolences for this family now. And I hope Ella Blue does not have this! Stop judging this family, For in the end only kindness matters!! APRIL...

2120 days ago


I'm surprised they let him try the drug in the first place. Most anti seziure medications double as antiphyscotics. Most medications used to treat bipoliar disorder don't work for very long (they work for a few weeks/month and then stop). I know for bipolar they have found alternate treatments (by that I mean naturapathic doctors) that work 100 times better, but for seziures there is nothing yet. These drugs usually cause weight gain, and can cause thyroid problems down the road, which is probably why they were stopped. I dislike there cult, but its nice to see that they put there child first, feel bad for them.

2120 days ago


If the loss it because they denied the child proper care, how can you feel sorry for them?

2120 days ago


where does it say that the meds did 'harm'? Becoming ineffective from prolonged usage does not equal doing harm.

2120 days ago


I certainly agree with "msgirl" who posted earlier.

Depakote [note the spelling, TMZ], generically known as Valproic Acid, does cause considerable weight gain and has been known to lose its efficacy over time. However, most neurologists will replace the Depakote with another drug. And yet there are - rarely - some for whom NO medication seems to work. [Those are generally hospitalized.]

While my sympathies go to the family, I must say that this incident, for me, drives one more nail in the Scientology coffin. I applaud the parents for keeping their child at home with them [rather than a hospital], however I have to wonder if every effort was made to secure skilled medical care or to follow medical recommendations. We don't know the entire situation, I'm sure.

While we don't know for certain if the parents ignored skilled medical recommendations in favor or religious teachings, I cannot imagine having such religious faith to the extent of sacrificing my child.

That said, I think it bears noting that many kids live at home, under close medical guidance with the use of anti-seizure medication, and still have several seizures every day. Any seizure is always accompanied by the real potential of injury or death.

Last but not least, know that there are some people who believe in western medicine, but for whom drugs don't work. They may become so seriously disheartened by the lack of relief that they will go off the drugs by themselves. These people are not necessarily Scientologists.

It's hard to understand unless you've had a family member on such drugs.

2120 days ago

Sue Wong    

Sorry, that's post #71 and #79 that said it well.

2120 days ago


Mortimer Sans: are you even human or do you just like to be the one with the most shocking disgusting comment? No, I am going to go with door # 1, you're not human.

2120 days ago


Jenna, #91, I agree. Just because the drugs didn't continue to work doesn't mean they caused harm.

I think JT's lawyer's and the COS are in damage control mode right now. The conflicting reports make a suspicious situation even more suspicious.

2120 days ago


I can't believe what a bunch of evil people you are. How can you judge this family you don't know what was going on and what type of treatment this young man was receiving. A mother and father lost a child this is a sad time for this family why are you being so mean. No matter the situation this mother and father will have to live with this blaming themselves for this untimely death. I'll be keeping this family in my prays and heart.

2120 days ago


Had other medications been tried? Depakote is not the first drug of choice for Grand Mal seizures. It's for bi-polar disorder (in combination with other meds), migraines and less severe seizure disorders.

2120 days ago

nira k    

Did the harm come from the medications? Did the medications he was taking for his seizures just "stop working" or did the seizure activity increase to the level that it could no longer be contained by the Depakote? Or even more disturbing, what will be Scientology;s response to the fact that Jett was given this type of medication when it appears the it was a drug Scientologists were not to use. Praying for all of the Travolta's.

2120 days ago
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