Max Page, the 7-year-old actor known as Little Darth Vader, was released from the hospital on Monday, June 18, four days after undergoing open-heart surgery. Max and his family has used his surgery to encourage donations be made to the Children's Hospital Los Angeles in his name. "I just want to say thank you. You guys are so good," Max says. Antonio Castelan reports from Hollywood for the NBC4 News at 5p.m. on June 18, 2012.
The 7-year-old actor behind the Darth Vader mask in a popular 2011 Super Bowl ad for Volkswagen, has been discharged from Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles.
Doctors said Max Page is doing well after undergoing two hours of surgery to replace his pulmonary valve on June 14.
While the doctors spoke on the boy’s medical success, Page looked to the future with a characteristically youthful vision.
“I’m excited about a lot of things,” Page said. “Especially having a milkshake.”
Page was born with a congenital heart defect known as Tetralogy of Fallot, and conceded Monday that he did feel a little pain in his chest and doctors said it will likely take six to eight weeks for him to fully recover.
The valve-replacement surgery, performed at the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, had been expected. Page has been treated at the hospital since he was an infant.
With his story garnering massive attention, Page, who also appears on "The Young and the Restless" and "Prime Suspect," is an official "junior ambassador" for the hospital, speaking to groups and helping raise money for pediatric research and treatments.
His family has used that platform to encourage people to make donations to the hospital's Children's Fund in Max's name.
“If this goes worldwide, go worldwide because everybody does so much for me,” Page said. “I just want to say thank you. You guys are so good.”
Before taking her young son home, Max’s mother reflected on what she told him after he came out of surgery.
“I got to tell him how much I loved being his mom,” said Jennifer Page. “When you’re in a Children’s Hospital environment, you know that you’re lucky to have that chance, and he came back to us and I got to say it again.”