You may have heard the news about seven year old Max Page having heart surgery. He was the kid that played “Mini Darth Vader” in the Volkswagen commercial. He has now been sent home from the hospital to finish his recovery. There will be more surgery in his future, however.
Max Page is seven years old, and he has been on television more times than I ever will. He is most noted for playing “Mini Darth Vader” in the Volkswagen commercial where he tries to use “The Force” to affect things around the house, while dressed up in a Darth Vader costume. Previous to this popular commercial, he was on “The Young and the Restless” and also appeared on “Prime Suspect”.
The seven year old actor recently had heart surgery. He was born with a condition called Tetralogy of Fallot. The Mayo Clinic says that Tetralogy of Fallot is “a rare condition caused by a combination of four heart defects that are present at birth”. These defects affect the structure of the heart, and cause oxygen-poor blood to flow out of the heart and into the rest of the body. The treatment for Tetralogy of Fallot requires several surgeries, over time.
Max had heart surgery at the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. The surgery took two hours, and involved the replacement of Max’s pulmonary valve. Four days later, he has been released from the hospital. He faces six to eight weeks of recovery.
This surgery was the eighth one that Max has had. His first was when he was just three months old. A week later, he had a second surgery so doctors could put in a pacemaker.
The recent surgery that Max just had involved surgeons inserting a tube between the right pumping chamber and the main artery to the lungs. This was necessary in order to fix a small artery that surgeons created for Max when he was a baby, in order to allow the blood flow of a growing boy.
This isn’t going to be Max’s last surgery. When he gets to be about seventeen years old, he will need to have the replacement valve that he just received replaced by a new, larger, one. Later, when he reaches his twenties, he will require yet another replacement surgery.
In addition to having surgery, Max has had something else interesting happen. He has become an official junior ambassador for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
Image by Janet Morrell on Flickr