Like many, I was shocked to read that John Travolta's son Jett died at the age of 16 yesterday. I cannot imagine the pain of parents who lose a child. It defies all logic and goes against the assumption that our children will be at our funeral, not the other way around. A very, very sad situation.
Jett Travolta's parents said he had Kawasaki Disease (also called Kawasaki Syndrome), which is a childhood disease that causes fevers, rashes and swelling, amongst other symptoms and is rarely seem in children over the age of eight. Fewer than one percent of children with the disease will die from it. It is mainly characterized by inflamed blood vessels throughout the person's body.
It is not known what causes Kawasaki Disease, although most experts have ruled out hereditary causes and it is not contagious.
Up to 25% of children with Kawasaki Disease will have heart problems. According to the American Heart Association, "the coronary arteries are most often affected. Part of a coronary wall can be weakened and balloon (bulge out) in an aneurysm. A blood clot can form in this weakened area and block the artery, sometimes leading to a heart attack. The aneurysm can also burst, but this rarely happens.
Other changes include inflammation of the heart muscle (myocarditis) or the sac surrounding the heart (pericarditis). Arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms) or abnormal functioning of some heart valves also can occur."
Aspirin is used to treat Kawasaki Disease, as well as intravenous gamma globulin, that lessens the risk of heart damage.
The Travoltas said they believed that chemicals from household cleaners triggered their son's illness and denied reports that their son was autistic. They used the methods learned from Scientology to combat toxins in their son's system.
A seizure is the initial, unconfirmed cause of death in Jett Travolta's case and an autopsy will tell more.
For more information about Kawasaki Disease, click here for the Kawasaki Disease Foundation : www.kdfoundation.org
For more on Jett Travolta, click here : http://www.cnn.com/2009/SHOWBIZ/Movies/01/02/obit.jett.travolta/index.html?iref=mpstoryview
Have you heard of Kawasaki Disease? Have you (or your child) experienced serious childhood illness?
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