'Little People, Big World': Matt Roloff Talks About His Brother's Tragic, Untimely Death

Matt Roloff of Little People, Big World recently shared one of the more tragic events in his life – the untimely death of his brother.

Few may be aware that Matt had a younger brother named Joshua who have already passed away. The 55-year-old Matt revealed in his memoir, Against Tall Odds: Being A David In A Goliath World, that his parents had to deal with childbirth trauma when he was born. Two years later, the elder Roloffs again faced a dilemma with the birth of their second son.

Joshua Roloff was born a couple of weeks before Christmas in 1964. After Josh was born, doctors told Matt's parents that their new baby had severe heart and lung issues. The doctors also told them that Josh may not make it out of the hospital alive. Josh eventually was brought home after two days defying the doctors who thought he wouldn't live past day one.

Matt was only two years old at the time but his memory of those tumultuous days are still fresh in his mind. Matt said that he spent many days in the hospital as his brother underwent a number of operations to save his life.

Matt said that some of the doctors "believed they could correct his condition, only to find out that his condition couldn't be corrected."


Matt even recalls one particular complicated surgery that Josh went through. Matt said Josh had to undergo an operation to fix a brain abscess. This was not the first time Josh had to go through that particular surgery and Matt thought that it was a miracle that Josh survived that one.

Matt also said that Josh suffered from other medical conditions. Josh also had scoliosis, which made things even worse for him. According to the doctors, Josh could undergo a surgery to correct his spine though the risks are pretty high. The other option was to let the scoliosis be and "face eventual death as his spine curves more." The latter option would make it more difficult for Josh to breathe. It's not clear which path the Roloff family took.

Josh "had many close calls with death," according to Matt. Back then, the heart and lungs of his brother would suddenly stop functioning and their mother would come to the rescue. Other times, Josh would suffer a seizure "that would have taken his life had someone not been there to help him." The Little People, Big World star said that his mother resuscitated Josh too many times for her to care to remember anymore.

Unfortunately, Josh eventually succumbed to his health condition in 1999. He did go against the odds and lived until he was 34 years old.

Matt and his own family are not immune from scary medical issues. In 2016, Matt had to undergo spinal surgery. Matt actually had an operation done on his neck but doctors later revealed that he would need another more serious procedure surgery.

Zach, one of Matt and Amy's twin sons, also had to endure health scares since his younger days. In fact, he's had seven surgeries already. Back in June, Zach was rushed to the hospital due to a debilitating headache. The Roloff family initially thought the headaches were caused by the shunt that was surgically placed in Zach's skull when he was younger, a procedure common among people with dwarfism. Without the shunt to relieve pressure on his brain due to the production of excess fluid, Zach could easily be long gone by now.

[Featured Image by Matt Roloff/Facebook]