The Biggest Tragedy That Happened To The Alaskan Bush People

Alaskan Bush People, a reality series featured on the Discovery Channel, follows the Brown family as they live life (allegedly) off the grid and practice survival tactics in the wilderness. The show is not without its drama, though. There are interpersonal relationships that have brought ample conflict (think Bear Brown's drama with his ex-fiance and the mother of his son, Raiven Adams.) There was also the legitimate reason the Brown family needed to leave Alaska.

The family has also received criticism for being less legit than they claim to be, and some fans have petitioned for the show's cancellation. Whether that will happen is TBD, but until that day, they will continue to entertain us with their wilderness escapades.

Although the Brown parents, Billy and Ami, as well as their brood, have faced hardships, there's one particular situation that happened to Ami's side of the family that is harrowing and is, without a doubt, the biggest tragedy to hit the Brown family. Keep reading to learn about the heartbreaking situation.

Ami Brown's niece passed away unexpectedly

Ami Brown, wife to Billy Brown and mother to the adventurous brood of Brown kids, has a fractured history with her own family. Billy married Ami when she was just 15 while he was 26 and already in a marriage with two children, per marriage certificates obtained by Radar Online. Ami's family was supposedly skeptical of the marriage and she essentially became estranged from her own biological family, the outlet reported.

So it was an extremely difficult situation when Ami's niece, Amber Branson, daughter of Ami's brother, Rene Branson, died in 2020, The Sun reported. Amber had suffered from mental health struggles for years, as Ami's other brother, Les Branson, told the outlet, and on April 29, 2020, she lit herself on fire outside of her home in Texas. Amber was taken to the Dallas hospital burn unit but passed away shortly after.

Les told The Sun: "After being taken off life support at family's request on April 30, she succumbed to her injuries early the next day." Les claimed that Amber struggled with addiction, stating, "Though she had been drug free for several years and had struggled mightily to turn her life around, she apparently had relapsed and had begun using the drugs again."

He concluded by saying: "[Amber] was a kind, generous person with a big heart who was loved and admired by many, but who unfortunately also suffered from a debilitating disease."

Amber's death marks another tragic loss for Ami Brown and her family, as the Branson matriarch, Earlene Branson, died in November 2018.

If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse and mental health, please contact SAMHSA's 24-hour National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).