Zach Roloff’s Saddest Moments

June 13, 2024
5 mins read

We all know well who the Roloffs are. Ever since their show “Little People, Big World” premiered in 2006, the family has conquered the hearts of millions with their adventures, enthralling personalities, and entertaining stories.

The Roloffs aren’t afraid of sharing their best and worst moments on screen, including their family’s rifts, personal journeys, health struggles, and lots more. The oldest child of the family, Zach has taken a main role in the series, sharing everything from his happy moments as a new father and husband to showing us his health struggles, rivalry with his brother, and the negative turns that his relationship with his father Matt has taken in recent years.


So what are the saddest moments of Zach Roloff and how has he dealt with tham? Keep watching to find out!

Brain Surgery

Before getting into some of the family dramas that Zach Roloff has experienced so far, it’s due to talk about the complex health-related situations he’s experienced. One of the most difficult moments for him was the time when he underwent emergency brain surgery in 2023.

To understand what brought Zach to the emergency room, we have to go back to his childhood when a shunt device was surgically inserted into his brain to drain fluid from it. Later at 13 years old, Zach had the device revised in surgery, but he believed he wasn’t dependent on it anymore.

However, for the last decade, Zach experienced terrible migraines with their origin unclear to everyone. As Zach recalled in his and his wife Tori’s podcast “Rising Heights”, his migraines were so strong that he was often pushed to change and cancel plans on the spot. Sometimes the issue would go away with just a nap, while other times he had to go to the hospital, where doctors would undertake lots of tests, but without determining what was going on.

By early 2023, Zach had been under intense pain which eventually led doctors identifying that his shunt device needed replacing – one of the most difficult parts of that process was dealing with the questions that Zach and Tori’s children asked about their father’s health.

Other Health Issues

A couple of years before it this diagnosis, he was diagnosed with multi-level degenerative disc disease. This condition involves the progressive deterioration of osseous structures such as the spine and discs.

Zach’s situation was featured in the 19th season of “Little People, Big World”, with him explaining that degenerative disc disease was a common occurrence in people with achondroplasia – a form of dwarfism – such as himself. Nevertheless, that didn’t make the news of his diagnosis more comforting, as his wife Tori confessed on screen that she was ‘scared’ about the prospect of him having surgery, but Zach admitted to being in denial about his condition, seeing how it interfered with him playing soccer, his biggest passion.

Other health issues that “Little People, Big World” have seen Zach going through are his continuous ear infections, often present in people with achondroplasia due to the blockage of the Eustachian tubes. Zach has talked openly on TV about complex surgery he underwent when he was a child, as he had his leg straightened by placing metal plates in it.

Children’s Health

Zach and Tori Roloff’s children have also faced health issues related to their Achondroplasia. In late 2021 their oldest, Jackson Kyle underwent an osteotomy, a surgical procedure meant to correct the bowing of the legs. This first surgery was explained and featured in detail in “Little People, Big World”’s 23rd season.

The recovery process was complex for the entire family, as Jackson didn’t progress as quickly as expected. As Tori affirmed in an Instagram comment that it was ‘tough’ because the bowing of the legs was meant to be corrected as Jackson grew, but seeing that his height only increased around an inch per year, the process was slower than a person of average height would experience.

Later in 2023, Jackson underwent further surgery when one of the screws placed during the first surgery broke. However, this time the young Jackson specifically asked the ‘filmers’ to not be present at the surgery, hence why his parents kept it a secret until they revealed it in their podcast “Rising Heights” in 2024.

On the other hand, Zach and Tori’s daughter Lilah was diagnosed with strabismus in 2020. Though the girl’s condition has been described as not ‘super serious’ by her parents and she’s currently using correcting glasses, the fact that Lilah was scheduled for surgery in 2021 put some stress on her parents before they eventually decided to cancel the procedure.

Feud With His Brother

Loyal followers of “Little People, Big World” have been theorizing about the fallout of the Roloff twins for several years. Everything started when both Zach and Jeremy openly expressed their intentions of buying part of the family’s farm.


While the purchase was impossible to make for both twins due to their father’s decision to increase the price out of their reach, the relationship between Zach and Jeremy seemed to suffer because of it. The strongest hint about their feud was the growing distance between the two, as seen in social media posts from family events where neither the brothers nor their young families seemed to coincide.

According to The Sun, a source close to the Roloff family affirmed that Zach and Jeremy weren’t on good terms and neither were their wives. On top of that, it was rumored that their different political views also interfered in their relationship.

Further speculation about their rivalry has surfaced from time to time, but it seems that the waters have calmed down a bit after they reunited for their mother Amy’s wedding in 2021. However, it’s worth noting that the distance between Zach and his twin brother was most likely hard to deal with.

Feud With His Father

Zach’s feud with his father Matt is by far one of the most tense situations featured by “Little People, Big World” in over 20 years of the TV run. Everything goes back to the time Zach wanted to purchase the family’s farm, only to find a not-so-receptive attitude from his father.


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A post shared by Matt Roloff (@mattroloff)

Things went south after that, with Matt revealing that the possibility of any of his sons buying the property was over, prompting Zach to publicly call his father ‘manipulative’. It didn’t take long before Matt put the farm on sale for $4 million in 2022, only to take it off the market after a couple of months, and instead turning it into a rental place.

Alongside his young family, Zach moved out of Portland to Washington State, essentially putting an end to his intention of buying the farm. However, his relationship with his father didn’t seem to improve after that.

All in all, Zach and his family have gone through some difficult moments in the last couple of years, both when it comes to his relationships, family, and health. Nevertheless, it’s also great to see him overcoming all of those difficulties.

Daniel Wanburg

As the Managing Editor at Net Worth Post, I lead a talented team in delivering compelling content on the lives and achievements of influential figures. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for storytelling, I oversee the production of insightful biographies that resonate with our audience. My role involves not only managing the editorial process but also conducting research, crafting engaging narratives, and ensuring the accuracy and quality of our publications.

At NetWorthPost, we strive to provide our readers with in-depth profiles that offer valuable insights into the worlds of business, entertainment, and beyond. Through meticulous research and captivating storytelling, we bring to light the remarkable journeys and successes of individuals who inspire and captivate us.

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