Roloff family friend and Little People, Big World cast member Mike Detjen dies

Mike Detjen, a friend of the Roloff family who appeared on Little People, Big World, died Wednesday after having a heart attack. Mike was injured in the trebuchet accident that was featured on the show last year.

In a letter posted on their web site, Matt Roloff wrote that “Mike was rushed to the hospital from his soccer club board meeting. At the time, it was believed he was having a heart attack. … Coherent and alert, Mike was rushed into emergency surgery for a torn aorta. An aortic dissection is very serious, but the prognosis was that they would be able to repair the rupture in the 5+ hour operation. Unfortunately, Mike did not make it through the procedure.”

Matt also wrote that “[f]or the past eight years Mike has been a business partner, brother, coach, friend, and confidant. He was truly like an uncle to our kids. … Our kids are all devastated and beside themselves with grief. We will miss Mike dearly as a friend and loved one.”

The Oregonian reports that “Detjen took early retirement from Intel to help Matt Roloff start a company that sold kits to hotels to make rooms more accessible to people who have dwarfism. They remained business partners.”

Devasting News to the Roloff Family [Roloff Farms]
Local figure on reality show dies [The Oregonian]

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.