Kelly Preston died on Sunday at 57 after losing her firstborn son Jett in 2009

By Ale Russian
July 13, 2020 10:10 AM
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Kelly Preston died Sunday morning at 57, marking another tragic blow to the Travolta family 11 years after the unexpected death of their son Jett.

Jett, Preston and John Travolta's first child, died when he was 16 after suffering a seizure and hitting his head in a bathtub in the family’s vacation home on Grand Bahama Island in 2009. On Sunday, Preston died after a two-year private battle with breast cancer.

Though Travolta, 66, and Preston kept their grieving private, they occasionally opened up about their son, who had autism, and marked his birthday with poignant social media posts. Last year, Preston shared a rare photograph of herself, Travolta and Jett on Instagram in which she paid tribute to her beloved son just days before what would have been his 27th birthday.

John Travolta, Jett, Kelly Preston
Mitchell Gerber/Corbis/VCG via Getty

In sharing the photograph, the actress also raised awareness for those with autism, writing, “I send love to all of the beautiful autistic children and the wonderful people who love them. May we all shine and grant love and respect to children with special needs💕” along with hashtag acknowledging April is Autism Awareness Month.

“To my sweet love, Jett… you are in our hearts forever,” Preston lovingly wrote in the caption.

Preston also had daughter Ella, 20, and son Benjamin, 9, with Travolta.

Kelly Preston/Instagram

The late actress also opened up in November 2012 while on an episode of The Doctors.

“[Jett] was autistic. He had seizures and when he was very young, he had Kawasaki Syndrome,” Preston said at the time.

Kawasaki Syndrome is an acute febrile illness that causes inflammation in blood vessels throughout the body. It's most common in infants and young children.

Of having another son following the loss of their first, Travolta said the addition helped keep their family together during a Good Morning America interview in September 2016.

“Certainly having little Ben has been a beautiful kind of glue for us to rebound after a tremendous loss,” he said.

Ben was born after the couple tried for three years to conceive. “He’s given the house a renewed spirit and purpose,” Travolta told PEOPLE in 2011.