In Wolfsburg, Germany, James lived with his younger sister after having his parents pass away years prior to the infection. To support both himself and his young sister he worked in general medicine then up to be a diagnostician before the time of the Apocalypse. During the initial infection, when Germany was initially falling to the undead hordes, he was separated from his sister, being taken from his work to help tend to the wounded elsewhere, while she was evacuated. The two never saw one another after that. James ended up in an over run hospital, a patient of his narrowly missing him and attacking a nearby nurse instead. He went from floor to floor, avoiding the dead at every turn.
After escaping Germany, he spent the last couple years roaming the European countryside, looking for civilization to finally settle down at after wandering for so long. His travels went from Germany, France, Sweden, and the majority of the western part of Europe. Eventually, his travels ended up on the other side of Ukraine, a dangerous route. He decided that the safest place, would be the rural and mostly up and coming country of Chernarus. Armed with almost nothing, he ventured in, hoping for some sort of salvation.