Boy in VW’s mini-Darth Vader Super Bowl ad had a successfully open-heart surgery

Article by Anita Panait, on June 19, 2012

Doctors at Children's Hospital Los Angeles today performed a successful open-heart surgery on seven-year old Max Page, who starred in Volkswagen's popular Super Bowl commercial as mini-Darth Vader, hospital spokesman Lorenzo Benet disclosed. Page has a congenital heart defect called Tetralogy of Fallot. He is expected to remain hospitalized until next week and will be in recovery for another six to eight weeks, Benet said.

Dr. Vaughn Starnes, the primary surgeon for the procedure, said in a statement that they successfully replaced Page’s pulmonary valve during the operation, which took them two hours with no complications.

Page’s doctors had long anticipated the valve replacement surgery. They had tried to preserve his pulmonary valve but it deteriorated over time.

Page, who has been receiving treatment at Children's Hospital Los Angeles since he was an infant, serves as a junior ambassador for the facility. Prior to his operation, Page told reporters that he had to undergo the procedure and had decided to have a "good attitude" about it.

Dr. Ralph Mosca, professor in the department of cardiothoracic surgery and pediatrics at NYU Langone Medical Center, remarked that children with Tetralogy of Fallot can enjoy a normal life after a procedure.

Page appeared in the much popular VW ad during the live broadcast of the 2011 Super Bowl. He wore a Darth Vader costume and tried vainly to use "The Force" to start a household dryer and rouse a pet dog. He then tried to use “The Force” on the family's Volkswagen Passat, which to his surprise started without him knowing that his father actually did it by remote control. Page also has appeared in "The Young and the Restless" and "Prime Suspect."

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