Kelly Preston, John Travolta, Son, Jett Travolta

Courtesy of Travolta Family

Kelly Preston paid tribute to her and husband John Travolta's late son Jett Travolta on Friday, a few days after World Autism Awareness Day.

The 56-year-old actress posted on her Instagram page a black and white photo of her and the 65-year-old actor kissing the teen, who was autistic, as he lies in bed, an image the family had shared years ago after his death. Jett, the couple's eldest child, died at age 16 in 2009. 

"To my sweet love, Jett... you are in our hearts forever," she wrote. "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 #autismawareness #autism."

Jett had passed away while on vacation with his family in the Bahamas. A seizure was deemed the official cause of his death. Police officials had said the boy died after hitting his head on a bathtub. He was survived by his parents and his sister Ella Bleu, who is now 19 years old.

"[He] was autistic. He had seizures, and when he was very young, he had Kawasaki syndrome," Kelly said about Jett on the CBS daytime series The Doctors in 2012.

She said she believed that autism and seizures contributed to Jett's death, and that they were caused by several factors, including Kawasaki syndrome, complications from her "fast and hard" labor, and the use of antibiotics while breast feeding, which she said "gave [Jett] thrush," an infection of Candida yeast, which some studies have linked with the symptoms of autism.

After Jett died, his family established the Jett Travolta Foundation to help children from a variety of disadvantaged backgrounds.

In 2010, a year after Jett's death, Kelly, then 47 years old, gave birth to her and John's son Benjamin Hunter.

"We certainly have bonded together," John said on Good Morning America in 2016. "Certainly having little Ben has been a beautiful kind of glue for us to rebond after a tremendous loss."

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