In this week’s episode of Little People, Big World, Tori and Zach Roloff were forced to address an issue that no parent ever wants to address:
The well-being of their two young children.
Both the four-year-old son, Jackson, and the 18-month-old daughter, Lilah, were born with achondroplasia, the most dwarf form of dwarfism and also of the same type that affects the father and paternal grandparents.
This condition can have adverse health effects.
“Entering Lilah’s doctor’s appointment for 9 months, we were a little worried about her weight gain, just because she’s so small,” Tori explained at a glance at Marta’s quota.
“The doctor told us she needs to eat high-fat foods (like avocado is very good, because they’re healthy fats) and that she just chopped it up a little bit.”
Unlike his sister, Jackson faced almost no physical challenges during the first year of his life.
Tori and Zach have often commented on how lucky the family has been as a result.
“Jackson and his first year of life, he had a couple of ear infections here and there, but other than that … there’s nothing wrong with that,” Tori said on air.
“But then Lilah, her first year of life, has been sick.”
In a confessional, the mother of two admitted that she has never been at all serious, but that doesn’t mean she hasn’t been difficult to deal with.
“I’m stressed,” he told the cameras. “I’m just worried about Lilah’s girl. She’s made me a wart of worry.”
Then there’s the issue of Jackson’s legs.
“We’ve noticed that Jackson’s legs are starting to bend a bit, so we’ll take Jackson to the doctor to check his legs and see if he finally needs leg surgery,” Zach said in the episode, with Tori adding:
“I think with Jackson’s legs, above all, I don’t want him to get to a point where he’s hurting because I’m sure he’ll have to deal with it at some point in his life.
“I just want to make sure we’re ready to move on.”
In 2016, Matt Roloff underwent a severe cervical procedure.
In all, he has gone under the knife 15 times, mostly just because of his diagnosis of achondroplasia.
Tori and Zach hope they can eliminate their son’s problems before they get worse over time.
“I just don’t want to let it go too far. I want to know how to avoid two surgeries like the ones you had,” Tori said, referring to what her husband has gone through.
“I have had two surgeries.
“My first was when I was about 9 or 8 years old and it was a growth plate on both legs, fused on both legs.
“Then a few years later, when I was ’14 or 15, I just had it on my right leg and that’s what the pins have. ‘
Zach went on to admit that the recovery process was “brutal,” prompting Tori to say “it won’t be okay” if Jackson has to suffer in a similar way.
Still, in general, the couple tries to stay optimistic.
“We just try to control our children and any medical problems that may arise and we just try to be proactive,” Zach said in a confessional.
“As if we’re not looking for … something wrong, we’re being positive.”
Tori said, along the same lines:
“I think when things show up, for example, every time they’re sick or injured, we’ll get together as a family and take care of them.”
Little People, Big World airs on Tuesdays at 9/8c on TLC.