Little People, Big World stars Zach Roloff and Tori Roloff reflected on his emergency brain surgery one year after the procedure.

“It’s been a year since Zach almost died,” Tori, 32, said during the Wednesday, February 14, episode of their “Raising Heights” podcast. “We’re gonna talk about it today, talk about a near-death experience that happened in the Roloff household.”

Zach, 33, explained that the surgery was to fix a shunt in his brain, which was implanted when he was an infant and revised when he was 13. The device drains fluid into his stomach, though both Tori and Zach admitted they didn’t think his health was dependent on it.

The father of three explained that he had been suffering with chronic and life-altering migraines for seven years before the surgery, and didn’t realize the shunt was causing the pain. “We would go the ER and I would get tested and they wouldn’t see anything,” Zach shared. “We just settled on … I was having these episodes and sometimes a nap would help.”

“It took this huge event of everything kind of falling apart for us to finally figure out what it was,” Tori chimed in, adding she was “preparing [herself] for the worst” whenever doctors were unable to identify the root of the problem.

The couple said that Zach’s health began to worsen the day after Tori gave birth to their third child, Josiah, in April 2022. Tori then admitted that she was frustrated with Zach for not helping with the newborn after he left the hospital to go get medicine, stating that he was like a “deadbeat dad that night.”

Several months passed until Zach experienced the same pain and headaches, and they went to a hospital that specializes in dwarfism. He was rushed into emergency surgery, where doctors determined his shunt was out of date and scar tissue was blocking the fluid.

It was really scary watching you get rolled away, not knowing,” Tori recalled about her husband being taken into surgery. Luckily everything went according to plan and Zach feels much better one year after the procedure.

LPBW's Zach and Tori Roloff Reflect on His ‘Near-Death’ Brain Surgery 1 Year Later: ‘Really Scary’

“We’re up on a year on that and I have not had a migraine since then,” he told their listeners before giving credit to Tori for how she handled the health scare. “Thank you for being there with me with everything. You took care of all the kids that whole time. My mom came in.”

However, Tori admitted that it wasn’t easy for her and said it was difficult to tell their eldest son, Jackson, what was happening. “I came home and he asked me, ‘Is dad gonna go to heaven? Is he gonna be with Papa?’ she tearfully said. “And I was like, ‘No I hope not.’ But that was a moment that was so hard to talk to my six-year-old about. We kept saying he’s sick like we did with Papa, and so he did have this moment of ‘I’m gonna lose my dad.’ And that was heartbreaking.'”

Despite the hardships they faced, both Tori and Zach said they’re grateful for how the situation turned out. “You are alive and kicking and doing your thing,” Tori told her husband. “Thank the Lord above.”

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