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Friends, Family Celebrate Life Of Abuse Survivor Josh Osborne

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Photo: Video by NewsChannel5.com

Friends, Family Celebrate Life Of Abuse Survivor Josh Osborne

CREATED Jul 12, 2014
by Todd Walker

SMYRNA, Tenn. - His story of abuse changed laws, his story of redemption changed lives.

Friends, family, and friends who were like family celebrated Josh Osborne's life Friday night after he died July 2 at the age of 24.

Josh himself made sure it would be a happy service.

It would have been easy to focus on all the bad in his 24 years. But the good he was able to find, and the good he was able to do in his life far outweighed any sadness that the people in attendance couldn't help but show.

"He had a lot of wisdom," said close friend Mike Grizzle. "They should make bumper stickers that say 'What would Josh do?'"

Josh hand picked the speakers at the service, including NewsChannel 5 reporter Nick Beres and photojournalist Bud Nelson.

The two became quite close with Josh over the years.

"I never sensed an ounce of bitterness (in Josh,)" Beres said.

Rep. Sherry Jones also spoke at the service. She helped Josh create and pass the "Joshua Osborne Law," which toughened penalties on people convicted of child abuse.

The group Bikers Against Child Abuse led the procession on their motorcycles out of the service.

Josh was surrounded by family when died at the hospital after a virus attacked an already weakened immune system

Josh had battled health problems since birth. He was the youngest heart transplant recipient in Tennessee as an infant, and his kidneys had failed in recent years. When we last spoke to him in April 2013, he was on dialysis for nine hours any given day.

In 2004, Josh was 15 years old when he was rescued by Wilson County detectives from his father and stepmother’s home in Lebanon. He only weighed 49 pounds, and told authorities they had chained him to a bed and starved him.

He then went to live with his aunt's family in La Vergne. After graduating high school, Josh worked at Goodwill up until the latest illness hospitalized him. He also volunteered at Springhouse Tutorial, which is a co-op for homeschoolers.

His father and stepmother, James and Christie Osborne, were convicted of attempted aggravated child neglect and sentenced to six years in prison. Christie Osborne's sentence was reduced on appeal, and she was released in 2008. James Osborne was released from prison in 2010.

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