John Travolta recalls rescue attempt
John Travolta appeared in a Bahamas court yesterday (23.09.09) and told how he attempted to save his son's life after he suffered a seizure at the family's Caribbean home
John Travolta has told a court how he attempted to save his son's life after he suffered a seizure at the family's Caribbean home.
The Hollywood actor fought back the tears as he gave evidence at the trial of the paramedic and lawyer accused of trying to blackmail him for £18 million over a document relating to 16-year-old Jett's death on January 2 2009.
Speaking to the jury at the court in Nassau, in the Bahamas, Travolta said: "I was awakened by my son's nanny pounding on the door saying Jett was unconscious. I ran downstairs to help my son with my wife. I saw him on the bathroom floor.
"His other nanny Jeff Kathrein and a woman employee were doing CPR. I took the place of the woman. Jeff was doing compressions and I was doing breathing. I asked if an ambulance had been called and I was told, 'Yes.' "
Travolta - whose wife Kelly Preston watched from the gallery - said a defibrillator was used until paramedics arrived about 40 minutes later and Jett was then put on a gurney.
He said: "I spoke with the ambulance driver and asked him if he would take us to the airport."
It had previously been claimed in court that Travolta refused medical aid for Jett and wanted him to flown back to the US for treatment.
Eventually a paramedic at the scene asked a senior police officer to witness the signing of a "refusal of medical attention" form, which was signed by the 'Pulp Fiction' star.
When the judge asked Travolta if he read the document before signing, the actor said he did not.
He added: "Because time was of the essence."
Travolta confirmed he had wanted Jett flown to a Florida hospital but it was not made clear why the plans were changed and Jett was taken to the island's Rand Memorial hospital instead of the airport, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
Travolta also revealed Jett suffered from autism, the first time he had publicly confirmed his son's condition.
He told the court: "My son was autistic and he suffered from seizure disorder every five to 10 days. He would suffer a seizure that would last 45 seconds to a minute and sleep for 12 hours."
Paramedic Tarino Lightbourne and his attorney Pleasant Bridgewater are jointly accused of attempting to extort and conspiring to extort by means of threats, charges they both deny.
The trial continues.