Tragedy is striking Discovery Channel's Alaskan Bush People family yet again, as series star Ami Brown's estranged older brother, Rene, has just "days to live" amid his ongoing battle with cancer. According to Brown and Rene's brother, Les Branson, Rene is currently in hospice care amid his years-long battle with renal cell carcinoma, a form of kidney cancer.
Branson told The Sun that Rene, 66, is currently "on pain medication and in a semi-comatose state." He said that "hospice comes once a day to see him." Branson revealed that his brother’s health "has slowly deteriorated" and that "in the last week or two," Rene has "slowed down considerably." Branson said that his brother "isn't expected to live much longer," adding that Rene "has a few days to live, we think." He said that he does not plan to contact Brown regarding their brother, as she has remained estranged from the family ever since she married her husband, Billy Brown, as a teenager.
After being diagnosed with the disease, Rene underwent a procedure to have his left kidney removed in an effort to help put him on the track to remission. By September of 2019, however, the cancer had spread to his adrenal glands, and by New Years of this year, it had metastasized to his lungs and lymph nodes and later to his spine and bones.
Rene's deteriorating health marks just the second tragedy to rock the family in recent months and follows the May passing of his 44-year-old daughter and Brown's niece, Amber Branson. Amber passed away on May 1 after suffering burns to 90 percent of her body in an April 29 fire at her Hudson Oaks, Texas, home. Authorities had responded to call of a woman lying face down in her front yard and had discovered Amber suffering from serious injuries when they arrived. Her injuries were deemed "non-survivable," and she died after being taken off life support.
According to Branson, who spoke to The Sun at the time, Amber told authorities that her injuries were "self-inflicted" and that she had lit herself on fire as "a 'faith test.'" She claimed that she had used "an insect repellent," though officers "detected the odor of gasoline, and Amber's boyfriend later found an empty can of gasoline that had been in the garage tossed over a neighbor’s fence."
Branson said that Amber had suffered from mental health and substance abuse issues. He said that Amber had been sober for "several years," though she apparently suffered a relapse, as there was evidence she was under the influence of drugs at the time of the incident. He said that the family was "stunned and horribly grieved by her tragic death."