There are very few people who can bounce back from tragic events in their life and succeed the way Johnny Riche has. Adam Nugent and Kate Strong get the chance to speak with the co-owner of Rockwell Time about his incredible life and his infectious personality. Through perseverance, grit, and an amazing group of friends and family, he was able to thrive when many would have given up. Learn more about his story and the incredible work he does for first responders and military members, as well as his community, on today’s episode.
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Have you ever had to overcome extreme hardship? Who did you lean on for support along the way?Johnny Riche lost his father, mother, and brother all in the same year to opioid addiction. Today, he has an unmatched enthusiasm for life and is never afraid to pursue his passions, of which he has many. MMA fighter, stuntman, TV show host, and now business owner of Rockwell Time are just a few of the titles that Johnny has held. In this podcast excerpt, he shares how opioid addiction took the life of his mother, father, and brother within one year.
AN: One thing I don’t think a lot of people know is that when you were growing up, your father had an accident and broke his back. He was confined to a wheelchair, and you had a mother that worked two jobs to provide for your family. In one year, you lost both your parents and a brother to opioid addiction, correct?
JR: My dad was a paraplegic. He broke his back and severed his spinal cord when we were really young. So my entire life, I knew my dad in a wheelchair. . . . He was a veteran. He fought in the Vietnam war. And so we spent a lot of time at the VA hospital while my mom worked a couple different jobs to provide for our family. . . .
You know, spinal cord injuries were very new. They just didn’t know a lot about them, and the only way they could really help him was to provide him with pain medication. They’d give a month’s allotment, and I remember my dad would save up all his medicine so that for like two or three days, he could be completely out of it, meaning that he was high. He was literally saving up a month’s worth of pills so for a few days he could feel relief. . . .
When medicine’s in the house, when pills are prevalent, it makes it very easy for other people to dabble. They take one here, they take one there, oh, they’re having a bad day. It had just caused this breeding ground for addiction. So, my father, my mom, and my brother were addicted to pain medication.
AN: And all of them died in the same year?
JR: Yes, 2006.
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