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Episode 150: Jeff

Season 10, Episode 11


Age: 30’s
Location: Arkansas
Addiction: Alcohol (beer)
What’s memorable: How lost he is without his wife, how much he needs his beer. Every 15 minutes, all day long. This is a very sad story.

Update: Jeffrey Karl James passed away on November 17th, 2016. Here is his obituary.

Official synopsis:  A college graduate who now works as a genealogist, Jeff can’t give up his 30-cans-of-beer-per-day habit even though his health is failing, he recently lost his wife, and his children are struggling to cope with the loss of their mother. Now Jeff faces a choice–his life or his beer. Can an intervention bring him to his senses?

Original Air Date: September 2011
Interventionist: Donna

Categories: Addicts Who Have Died, Alcohol, Death of Loved One, Donna, Most Tragic Episodes, Season 10, Traumatic Incident


43 Responses to “Episode 150: Jeff”

  1. How is jeff doing today. Great musician and singer. My heart felt for this young gentleman.

    Posted by page | September 2, 2014, 10:09 pm
    • On his facebook page he says he is “doing good” but makes no mention of sobriety. That would be an alcoholic’s version of “no comment.”

      Posted by Ann Hitchins | September 3, 2014, 7:22 pm
      • I actually am pretty good guys, hate to disappoint you. Google me, friend me on facebook. That whole show was a farce.

        Posted by Jeff James | October 28, 2014, 12:13 am
        • Thanks for commenting Jeff. I’m curious why you think the show is a farce. Was your episode edited a certain way?

          Posted by Dizzy | November 6, 2014, 2:50 pm
      • I couldn’t find his Facebook. Honestly people, when the show aired, his wife had just passed away. Who wouldn’t go through a downward spiral if that happened to them. I have had 2 friends that lost their spouse and they did the same thing. He says he is doing well, I think he is probably in a much better place right now, so I believe him!

        Posted by Missy | June 30, 2016, 8:20 am
    • Unfortunately, Jeff only has a few days to live. He’s been in ICU for two weeks from his liver and kidney shutting down, after they removed his other kidney that had stage four cell carcinoma. I spoke to him two days ago, it was the last time he was awake. The world is losing a beautiful soul. His new wife, and angel of three years will be taking care of the boys. Jeff has been one of my best friends most of our lives, and I’m heartbroken that he has to go out this way at such a young age.

      Posted by Brandy Norris | September 23, 2016, 1:04 am
  2. His Facebook page mentioned “6 months without a drink today. on Feb 17 (2016) and a post before that looks like he was in the hospital for (I think) a ruptured esophagus and cirrhosis?

    This episode broke my heart…. seeing a man who loved this woman so deeply and truly and then losing her… not many get a chance at a love like that in a lifetime, and then to have it ripped away.

    I hope he stays sober, for himself, and his sons. It’s not an easy road, but he’s a passionate man, and I believe in him!

    Posted by SweetLadyH | February 23, 2016, 7:50 pm
    • I believe he took down the info about the hospital because I can’t seem to find it. Or I just loathe the way FB shows posts now… either way, I’m glad Jeff is sober. One day at a time brother!

      Posted by Ash | March 13, 2016, 3:25 am
  3. Jeff has been sober for a few years now!! He was on the liver transplant list and discovered he had renal cell carcinoma. A week ago they removed his kidney and the other shut down followed by the liver. He has been given a few days to live. His poor children lost their mother and now their father. Heartbreaking

    Posted by Piper | September 21, 2016, 10:06 am
  4. He has been sober over a year, and is now in ICU, with only a few days to live, because of liver and kidney failure, after removing his one kidney that had stage four cancer.

    Posted by Brandy Norris | September 23, 2016, 1:08 am
    • I am so sad to see this. Jeff’s story has stuck with me since the first time I watched it. What a devastating blow to all who love him – especially his children, losing both parents so young. I’m praying for a miracle. Truly heartbreaking.

      Brandy, I’m so sorry. I echo Missy’s request to please keep us posted when you’re up to it. I’ll keep Jeff and all who love him in my prayers.

      Posted by Shannon | September 26, 2016, 1:59 pm
  5. Sad news. Please keep the board informed. God bless his family and friends!

    Posted by Missy | September 26, 2016, 6:36 am
  6. Per his Facebook page, it appears that things are looking much more positive than just two weeks ago. Jeff’s wife shared that the doctors are amazed at his progress, and they are talking about long term goals and possibly going home. It sounds like Jeff will still need dialysis, but he seems to be quite a fighter! Keeping Jeff and those who love him in my prayers.

    Posted by Shannon | October 5, 2016, 8:00 am
  7. Jeff seems to be making a miraculous recovery! He is in liver and kidney failure, but he continues to preserve. Please click the link to visit his page, and donate if possible.


    Posted by Madeline | October 19, 2016, 12:48 pm
    • I should probably not use the word “recovery” in this sense. It’s more that he’s had a miraculous stabilization, in that doctors did not expect him to survive, but he has.

      Posted by Madeline | October 20, 2016, 6:44 am
  8. He passed away. Please pray for his children.

    Posted by Tonya Williams | November 27, 2016, 6:00 pm
  9. Jeff unfortunately passed away. I came across the obituary on Facebook that his wife had posted. His full name is jeffrey karl James. Looks like he went home and was doing OK but around the 17th of November had to be put back on life support and didn’t make it. Very sad RIP Jeff.

    Posted by Kristy | November 28, 2016, 8:47 pm
  10. I am so sad about this. I didn’t know him, but his story always stuck with me. God bless his family and may he RIP!

    Posted by Missy | November 29, 2016, 1:05 pm
  11. Rip. He’s with his wife now. ????

    Posted by Flo | December 3, 2016, 12:09 pm
  12. Damn, I’m heartbroken for Brandy and all Jeff’s friends and families. Jeff’s story spoke to me, and I was so hopeful for a miracle. If any of Jeffery’s loved ones read this, please know that you all have been and will continue to be in my thoughts and prayers. I wish I had the right words to bring you comfort and peace during this terribly difficult time. I’m so very sorry for your loss.

    Posted by Shannon | December 15, 2016, 7:44 pm
    • I meant to mention Summer, Jeff’s wife; please forgive my inexcusable oversight! Summer, you and everyone who knew and loved Jeff have my deepest sympathy. May you all find peace and comfort. Sending love and prayers from AZ. ????❤️????

      Posted by Shannon | December 15, 2016, 7:52 pm
  13. They just showed the episode again but with no update about his passing. I’m surprised and disappointed.

    Posted by Ruth | January 2, 2017, 5:31 pm
  14. Rest in peace Jeff. I saw your story years ago for the first time. It was the only intervention episode that made me cry. I also loved someone very much and list them, I was as broken as Jeff was. He had such a beautiful voice and so much talent that was going down the drain. My heart broke for him. I’m glad he at least got sober for a while before he died. I hope his kids are taken care of and learned something from his dad’s struggles. I often thought about Jeff in my own struggle to get sober. I finally did about a year ago. Goodbye Jeff.

    Posted by Ryan | January 23, 2017, 12:52 am
  15. I just saw that episode on TV also. I too was very saddened by it. I just wanted to say he was in a grieving state and to tell him “your wifes death was not your fault” He seemed to think it was. Now I am sad that he too has died. My heart felt sorrow is with his family.

    Posted by Ann Schlatter | January 25, 2017, 12:48 pm
  16. I just want to say thank you to everyone on here. This is the first time I have seen this feed. Jeffery was a fighter. He was strong and brave through everything. I met Jeff in the 6th grade and we were close since that time in 1988. When he lost his first wife, I was going through a divorce. We both realized that we should have been together since 1988! I love him with everything in my soul. His passing has been devastating for me, our boys, and all of our family and friends. There is no one else on this planet like Jeffery Karl James. I want people to know that the show Intervention only caused trouble in our life. When you come from a small town, everyone knows everything. It was a struggle. The producers put each person in a room and gave them a list of words that had to be read. When Jeff walks into the intervention, he had to do that “scene” 4 times! When he first walked in he said “ok, where am I going for rehab?” That didn’t have enough drama. So, they made him come in again and again until he had the right reaction. It also did not mention that he stayed sober for over 45 days after leaving rehab. He started drinking again after DHS took the kids out of his home and made them stay with grandparents because the roof was leaking and some of the ceiling was rotted. Needless to say, he worked everything out. The show producers would call about twice a year trying to get an update on Jeff. We were happy and healthy and did not respond to their questions. I can say that Jeff was happy with me and I was happy with him. We had a wonderful life. He was one of the smartest people I have ever met. He had some time during his illness to make arrangements. He was of himself and knew everything that was happening. They boys are now in my custody. I love them so very much and will watch them grow. I made one promise to Jeff. That was that I would rock our grandbabies and play them all of his music so they will know who he is. He also made me promise to read to them. I look forward to the day when I can sit on the front porch with our grandbabies, read to them, and tell them stories of their amazing grandfather while listening to him sing to us. Thank you to everyone for all the love!

    Posted by Summer James (Jeffery's Wife) | February 6, 2017, 11:47 am
    • Oh Summer. You seem like such a wonderful person! I am so happy Jeff had you to cherish in his final years. This episode hit me harder than most. I cried throughout most of it, especially when he sang. His voice touched my heart. He was clearly a kind, warm-hearted person with a pure and beautiful soul going through an unimaginable amount of pain. While I am grateful the show helped him into rehab, I can’t help but feel they were exploiting a young man who was going through the worst point of his life. From what I remember, they didn’t even offer the children any therapy for all the trauma they had suffered. That’s shameful. Thank you, Summer for not only sharing more of his story, but speaking the truth on the way the show handled him. You seem like a wonderful person and I wish you all the best. My deepest condolences to you and your family. Please know that there are strangers out there that are praying for you and weep for your loss. <3

      Posted by Tanya Nugent | February 20, 2017, 6:18 pm
    • Hi Summer! First I’m so very sorry for your loss and my heart goes out to those sweet boys and the rest of your family. I’m actually watching Jeff’s episode right now. His grief and heartache are so visceral to me because I lost my younger sister 3 years ago and the circumstances were similar to Rhonda’s death. So, I just got online to see if I could find a update and how his life has been since the show aired. I was shocked and saddened to find out that he’d passed. I’m glad to know that he did get better and found happiness and love again with you and y’all made great life together with his boys. It’s so touching to know they had the time with Jeff, and with you, to make memories to pass on to their babies one day, along with his music. I’m just a stranger on the internet and idk if you’ll ever see this but in case you do, I want you to know Jeff’s story got me on such a personal level because of my loss and I’m sending love and prayers to your family and wish you all the best!

      Posted by Marilee | June 26, 2017, 8:43 am
    • I’m sorry Summer, I must have unknowingly missed the part about them making Jeff do a scene four times just for the drama, how disgusting!!! To do that to a man who was going through the worst experience a person can go through because it effects everyone, not just yourself! It made me change my perception of their real intentions, or shall I say ajenda!!! Here I thought it was all about compassion. I had no idea. So sorry they treated him that way. Yes, they help people, but to use people like that to bump up ratings makes me sick!!

      Posted by theresa | August 7, 2017, 1:36 pm
    • Just saw his episode for the first time. Looked him up to bring him to Nashville. So sorry for your loss …

      Posted by Summer | January 30, 2018, 2:18 pm
    • I have to tell you I’m so sorry for Jeff’s passing. His episode really touched my heart. I’m am saddened to hear of his passing, and now my heart goes out to his boys and your family. I have to say that I watch intervention to keep me sober, I was too like Jeff. I drank just like him. I have been sober almost 7 yrs. now. I need to remind myself when I get in my head that maybe I can be a normal drinker. I have to remind myself where I was. I’m one of the lucky ones. I was dying, my organs were shutting down, & by the grace of God it was not too late for me. People like Jeff continue to support me through my struggles. He is still helping others even though God has him now. God bless him and yours and I Thank Jeff up in heaven for doing this episode even though it was not a positive thing to go through. ❤️🌹

      Posted by Desi | February 19, 2018, 1:57 pm
  17. My heart went out to Jeff. I could see the pain in his eyes, trying to deal with the death of his wife, whom he obviously loved so deeply. I wanted to reach in the t.v. and take him in my arms and hug and hold him and tell him the pain would grow less and he could get through it. I list my sister the same way. My heart goes out to his two sons and brother. Lord, I lift him up to you, in Jesus name.

    Posted by theresa battaglia | June 26, 2017, 9:17 am
  18. Thank you Summer, for the update, I just read it. You will all be in my daily prayers, and I know Jeff is with God. I know you’re hurting and miss him. His story affected me like no other on the show, I guess because he made me think of my sister. I have never been a cryer, but this this story did make me tear. I’m so sorry for you all. Be well, God bless.

    Posted by theresa battaglia | June 26, 2017, 9:35 am
  19. Does anyone know the name of the song he was singing during and at the end of the episode?

    Posted by T Rollins | July 1, 2017, 12:12 pm
  20. I too liked the song. I wish he would have recorded it.

    Posted by Cathy lindsey | September 14, 2017, 7:00 pm
  21. Jeff was very gifted musicly, I’m sure his children and his loved ones will always remember him that way. So sorry to hear of your loss. Rip Jeff, we still care bud.

    Posted by Lisa (fan) | November 13, 2017, 9:05 pm
  22. Just saw his episode for the first time. Looked him up to bring him to Nashville. So sorry for your loss …

    Posted by Summer | January 30, 2018, 2:18 pm
  23. Summer,
    I just watched Jeff’s episode for the first time. I’m completely new to intervention I just started watching a few days ago on hulu. His story really hurt my heart because my dad is an alcoholic but he is a terrible mean nasty man. What really upsets me is Jeff is a wonderful, loving, talented person and a great dad. My dad on the other hand couldn’t be bother with me when I was younger and then when I was older he just wanted me to buy him beer. The sad thing is I would because I was terrified of him having a seizure. When I was about 5 my dad was watching me and my mom didn’t like him drinking in her house so he went into withdrawal and had a seizure right in front of me. He survived. I just don’t understand why someone as horrible as my dad is still alive and someone as wonderful as Jeff has passed away. It just makes no sense to me. It’s unfair. I’m so sorry for your loss but I’m glad he found love with you again before he died. You were both lucky to have eachother. The boys are in good hands and will grow up happy. I know it’s been 2 years since Jeff passed but I just wanted to Express how sorry I am for your loss. I lost my best friend 3 weeks ago to a bowel blockage that burst and he went septic. He never took care of himself. I just want you to know I understand how hard it is to lose someone and I’m sending lots of positive thoughts and good vibes your way.

    Posted by Samantha | July 9, 2018, 6:21 pm
  24. Watching this episode now.. so sad he’s passed. My thoughts are with his family and loved ones. Can kinda relate and have seen the whole “rock star lifestyle” thing. Easy to focus too much on the party aspect. As you could see in that scene he couldn’t jam properly as he wanted to be drinking. After his wife passing, honestly I would go on a bender too. Im so disappointed to hear that the producers exploited this wonderful guy. I think once show got this momentum they really wanted to keep it going and amp the drama. It should have been hey awesome he’s down to go to rehab. Not repeat the scenes! What a shame.

    In any case my heart goes out to his loved ones and know we all in this little community keep these individuals stories in our minds and our hearts.

    Posted by Xlio | July 8, 2020, 10:16 pm

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