Billy Brown's future on his family's mountainside ranch hangs in the balance after the Alaskan Bush People patriarch was rushed to the hospital with a possibly devastating case of pneumonia.
"I can't get enough air," Billy can be heard saying as the cameras were rushed outside. "It just kept getting worse and worse and... It's starting to freak me out."
Later, daughter Rain explained, "It's definitely scary to see dad the way he is. All of a sudden, like, he can't catch his breath."
"If dad is saying he needs to go to the hospital and he's going to go down mountain, that means it's serious," the youngest Brown revealed. "He thinks there is something really wrong."
Once he was rushed to the hospital an hour away, "gasping" and "incoherent" by the time they arrived, son Bear Brown revealed that doctors thought their dad could have a particularly nasty case of pneumonia, or maybe even something worse.
"If it’s just pneumonia, then he has a super case of pneumonia," Bear relayed to his brother. "I'm still hoping for pneumonia — better than heart-related.”
After undergoing a seven-hour surgery to remove a full pound of liquid from just one lung, Billy was still coughing as doctors continued to investigate his diagnosis and his family stood bye.
Son Bam Bam told the cameras, “My dad has definitely always been my hero, just because he’s always been there; he's always that guy, always takes a punch and keeps getting back up...all of us would rather be the one to take the bullet. Any one of us would trade places.”
While his exact diagnosis wasn't yet clear, Billy's doctors were concerned about him returning to the high elevation of the family's mountain ranch.
"I got two doctors that said no way," he told the shocked family.
“Dad's had this dream a long time," Gabe told the cameras. "Ever since I can remember, he's talked about having a self-sustaining ranch. Right now, with dad's medical situation, it's the most threatening thing we’ve had on the dream so far.”
Despite the grim prognosis on the family's way of life, Billy insisted his family return to the mountain to ready their camp for winter. And while the children complied with his wishes, they felt uneasy with such important unknowns hanging over their heads.
"It's always in the back of my mind," daughter Snowbird admitted. "What if something happens and I'm not there.”0comments
Alaskan Bush People airs Sundays at 10 p.m. ET on Discovery.
Photo credit: Discovery