After two seasons, James was forced to call it quits, as his condition made it too difficult for him to effectively do his job, let alone do it on command, for multiple takes on television.
However, appearing on the show did help James out a bit. After revealing on national TV that he couldn’t afford back surgery after being rear-ended in that fateful car accident, a Boston hospital reached out to James and offered to operate on his back to help alleviate his pain, free of charge.
James accepted and while it mitigated his pain, it wasn’t a cure-all for his ailments — he still used pain meds to cope.
After surgery, James joined Todd Hoffman’s team on Gold Rush.
Gold Rush first debuted as Gold Rush: 2010 and it followed the lives of Todd Hoffman and his father, Jack, as they led a crew of gold-hungry dudes to dig for the shiny yellow mineral that mankind’s been fascinated with for centuries.