Little People, Big World star Zach Roloff admitted being a father has changed the way he views his own health after he underwent an emergency brain surgery.

During the Tuesday, February 20, episode, Zach, 33, was seen talking to his wife, Tori Roloff, about the future of his health as he recovered from the surgery. After noting that the prospect of his future was made “more intense with the kids,” Zach admitted he never thought about his health so intentionally before he became a father. “They want to have their daddy for a while,” he explained.

While reflecting on the surgery, Zach said “everything happened so fast and it’s good to be on the other side” of it. He then praised Tori, 32, for taking care of their kids – Jackson, 6, Lilah, 4, and Josiah, 21 months – during the scary time.

Now that he’s recovered from the procedure, the father of three shared that it’s “triggering” for him to get headaches.”It [would be] super sad to think that Tori would have to explain to [the kids] why dad isn’t here,” Zach said.

Tori first revealed Zach’s emergency surgery in February 2023. “Sorry I left you all hanging yesterday. We discovered Zach’s shunt is in need of repair and will have surgery in the morning,” she wrote via her Instagram Stories at the time. “They say it’s routine surgery but it’s far from my routine and Zach and I are nervous. It feels big to us but we trust his doctors and their ability and knowledge!”

A shunt is a hollow tube that is surgically placed in the brain to help drain cerebrospinal fluid, according to John Hopkins Medicine. The tube redirects the fluid to another part of the body, where it can be safely reabsorbed.

The couple – who tied the knot in 2015 – reflected on the “near-death” experience one year later during the February 14 episode of their “Raising Heights” podcast. Zach explained that he had been suffering with chronic and life-altering migraines for years, though didn’t know the source of the pain. “We would go the ER and I would get tested and they wouldn’t see anything,” he recalled. “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 added, noting that she was “preparing [herself] for the worst” as doctors struggled to determine what was wrong.

LPBW's Zach Roloff Says Health Scares Are 'More Intense' With Kids After Brain Surgery
Courtesy of Zach Roloff/Instagram

Now that a year has passed, Zach assured fans that he is feeling much better. “We’re up on a year on that and I have not had a migraine since then,” the TLC personality said before he redirected the attention to his wife. “Thank you for being there with me with everything. You took care of all the kids that whole time. My mom came in.”

While Zach had nothing but praise for the mother of three, she admitted that it wasn’t easy for her. The former teacher also shared that it was difficult to tell Jackson what was happening. “I came home and he asked me, ‘Is dad gonna go to heaven? Is he gonna be with Papa?’ Tori said through tears. “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.’”

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