Below Deck star, Captain Lee Rosbach has detailed his son Joshua’s death to urge Congress to take action in the opioid crisis.
It’s been over two years since Captain Lee and his wife Mary Anne lost Joshua to a fatal drug overdose after a two-decade-long battle with addiction. Last week Captain Lee met with Congress, where he shared the heartbreaking story of Joshua’s addiction and the day he died.
Captain Lee joined Florida Congressman John Rutherford at the Bipartisan Addiction and Mental Health Task Force for a roundtable forum. The beloved Below Deck star is working hard to keep Joshua’s legacy alive while trying to help ensure other families do not suffer the same loss.
Captain Lee recalls knowing something was wrong with Joshua
According to People magazine, the captain shared Joshua got addicted to painkillers following an accident that left him with two broken feet and a broken leg. Captain Lee let those at the roundtable know he was a dad living through the devastating opioid crisis.
“I didn’t agree to be here today to make anyone feel all warm and fuzzy. When I’m done, it’s my hope you’ll have a very different view of this crisis that’s so tremendously misunderstood,” Captain Lee stated.
Then the Bravo personality recalled the day his son died. It was a typical Sunday where Joshua was supposed to hang with Captain Lee and Mary Anne. Joshua canceled but said he would be over the following morning to see his parents.
When Captain Lee hadn’t heard from Joshua by Monday afternoon, the captain began to worry and headed to his son’s house.
“When I pulled into Josh’s driveway, I noticed the drapes were drawn and as I walked to the front door, I knew in my heart of hearts I did not want to open that damn door. I felt I already knew what awaited me on the other side,” the captain expressed.
Captain Lee details day of Joshua’s death to Congress
Joshua’s dog Champ was one reason Captain Lee knew something was drastically wrong. Champ always greeted the captain at the door. This time Champ was lying on the couch curled up next to Joshua.
“Josh was sitting down on the sofa with his hat still on. Josh always had a hat on. Josh had his head between his hands with his elbows resting on his knees like he had dozed off. I felt a brief moment of relief, an incredibly short-lived moment of relief because when I called out to Josh, there was no reaction from him,” Captain Lee explained.
The Below Deck star recalled rushing over to his son and putting his hand on Joshua’s shoulder to wake him up.
“But there would be no more wake-ups for my Josh. No more wake-ups for my beautiful brown-eyed boy. When I touched his shoulder, I felt no life. What I felt was cold and hard. My boy was gone. The man sitting peacefully on the couch was not my tall, handsome son anymore. Josh was gone,” the captain said.
The memory of seeing Joshua on the couch is the first thing Captain Lee sees when he wakes up and the last thing he sees at night before he goes to bed. Then he declared Joshua was a great person with great demons before ending with a call to action for Congress.
“There is so much work to be done regarding the opioid crisis, and we need to act now. It’s too late for Josh. It’s too late for my family, but it’s not too late for so many people out there who desperately need our help,” Captain Lee insisted.
Captain Lee Rosbach has made it his mission to share Joshua’s story to shed light on the opioid crisis. The Bravo personality is even willing to use whatever clout he has from the show to help ensure Congress creates stricter drug laws.
Below Deck airs Mondays at 9/8c on Bravo.