Little People, Big World is returning for it’s 25th season, and when it does, Zach Roloff‘s health will take center stage.
In early 2023, fans were shocked to learn that the TLC star had emergency brain surgery. While he handled it like a “rockstar,” according to his wife, Tori Roloff, most have been left wondering why it was even necessary.
A new trailer for the upcoming season gave a tease of Zach’s journey, with Tori admitting they’ve been “sitting on a knife’s edge” when it came to Zach’s health. More recently, the couple revealed that he was actually “near death.”
Why Did Zach Need Brain Surgery?
On Thursday February 9, 2023, Zach’s wife told their fans and followers the shocking development.
Zach had just gotten out of surgery to repair a shunt in his brain.
A shunt is a hollow tube surgically placed in the brain to help drain cerebrospinal fluid and redirect it to another location in the body where it can be reabsorbed, according to John Hopkins Medicine.
But why would he need this? The family has yet to confirm, but shunt procedures can address pressure on the brain caused by hydrocephalus, a chronic, neurological condition caused by an abnormal accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid.
“Not exactly how we saw our week going,” Tori wrote in her Instagram post, announcing the news of his surgery.
“It’s been a scary 72 hours but he is doing well and recovering.”
In the trailer for the new season, the family weighs in on the scary events.
“Anytime a surgeon needs to cut you open, I never consider that minor,” says Amy in a confessional about her son going under the knife.
Speaking of which, to hear Tori tell it, things were on the precipice of disaster just before this all happened.
“We’ve been sitting on a knife’s edge, and we just didn’t know it,” Tori said.
How’s Zach’s Health Now?
And recover he did!
Less than a week later, Zach was back home with his family, including his adorable 3 kids: Jackson, Lilah, and Josiah. From the comfort of his abode, he expanded further on the procedure and admitted this was something he’s been dealing with for awhile.
“I had a shunt revision surgery after getting really sick,” he explained on Instagram. “The shunt is always been something I’ve had but became very real this past week for our family. Thank you to @toriroloff for being the rock this week in our family and rallying the kids. My mom for coming up twice in the night so I could go to the ER. And the doctors and nurses at the hospital who advocated for me and continue to advocate and care for their patients every day. I’m happy to be home but thinking about everyone still in the ER, ICU or Neurology that can’t be home yet.”
As a year has passed, fans have followed Zach’s recovery. He’s spent tons of quality time with his kids, got involved in the Dwarf World Cup in Argentina, and even enjoyed a rare reunion with his brothers Jacob and Jeremy for Christmas.
In 2024, Zach and Tori launched a podcast called Raising Heights. In the second episode, the couple talked more about the surgery and how scary the ordeal really was for them.
“It’s been a year since Zach almost died,” Tori said during the Wednesday, February 14, episode of the couple’s Raising Heights podcast.
“It was really scary watching you get rolled away, not knowing,” Tori recalled about the moment she said goodbye last year at the hospital, thinking it might be her final farewell.
But it sounds like everything has been very good since then.
“I have not had a migraine since then,” Zach confessed.
‘Little People, Big World’: Season 25: What To Know
Little People, Big World premieres February 20, 2024, at 9 p.m. ET on TLC.
Along with following Zach’s medical episode, the new season will follow a lot more developing drama with the family.
“After an unexpected proposal, Matt and Caryn excitedly look to the future while building their dream home on the farm, but the constant strain on the family makes them wonder what that future will look like.”
“While Amy continues to enjoy married life with Chris, she remains unsettled by the family strife. To help bring the family together and support a cause near and dear to her, she decides to throw a fundraiser and enlists Chris, Matt, and Caryn’s help. But it doesn’t take long before the stress rises to the surface.”