Child abuse survivor who was chained to bed, starved dies

Child abuse survivor who was chained to bed, starved dies

Posted: Updated: Jul 02, 2014 04:05 PM
Josh Osborne passed away early Wedensday morning at the age of 24. Josh Osborne passed away early Wedensday morning at the age of 24.
Josh weighed just 49 pounds when he was found chained to a bed in 2004. Josh weighed just 49 pounds when he was found chained to a bed in 2004.
Josh worked at Goodwill for the past seven years. Josh worked at Goodwill for the past seven years.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Joshua Osborne, a young child abuse survivor who inspired stronger Tennessee laws, died early Wednesday morning at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. He was 24.

His sister Toshua Brooks told News 2 Osborne had contracted some "sort of infection" before he was taken to the hospital Tuesday.

"He's home with his heavenly," she said. "His heart apparently could not take it. He did his best to show Christ love, he never met a stranger."

A decade ago, Josh, then 15, was found at his father and stepmother's home in Wilson County chained to a bed and starving.

At the time, he weighed just 49 pounds.

SLIDESHOW: Joshua Osborne found chained to bed, starved

Josh's aunt and uncle, Tammie and Christopher Dozier, gained custody and his father James and stepmother Christie were arrested and later convicted of child neglect.

In 2008, Josh spoke of his ordeal before a Tennessee legislative committee in an effort to add dehydration and starvation to state child abuse laws.

After his testimony, which brought tears to nearly everyone in the committee room, Josh told News 2, "[I] hope they got the message and hope they were listening very good."

Lawmakers were listening.

The measure passed overwhelmingly and became known as the Josh Osborne Law.

Osborne had been plagued with health problems since birth.
As an infant he was one of the state's youngest heart transplant recipients.

"We were only supposed to have him for five years from what the doctor said after his heart transplant, and I got him for 24," said his sister late Wednesday.

Prior to his untimely death, Osborne worked at Goodwill for seven years and received the “Retail Employee of the Year” award in 2009.

“We will always remember Josh’s smile and positive attitude,” manager Angeline Bivens said. “He loved his Goodwill family and we loved him. The quality of Josh’s work and his team spirit makes him irreplaceable. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and those who knew and loved this remarkable young man.”

A memorial service for Osborne will be held next Friday, July 11 at 7 p.m. at the Springhouse Worship and Arts Center located at 14119 Old Nashville Highway in Smyrna.

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