Volkswagen Little Darth Vader recovering from heart surgery

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Darth Vader costume on display at a museum.

In 2011, a Little Darth Vader helped sell the Volkswagen Passat. (Photo Credit: CC BY/Andres Rueda/Wikipedia)

In “Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith,” Anakin Skywalker’s survives when he dons the techno suit that will come to personify his image as Darth Vader. For 7-year-old Max Page of Los Angeles, Calif., aka “Little Darth Vader” from the highly popular Volkswagen Super Bowl television commercial, heart surgery on Thursday has reportedly saved his life. Page is currently in recovery at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

Battling Tetralogy of Fallot

Page suffers from a heart defect known as Tetralogy of Fallot, according to Reuters. Children’s Hospital spokesman Lorenzo Benet told the press that Page’s two hours of surgery involved no complications, and that the boy would remain in recovery at the facility for six to eight weeks.

“The surgery today went well,” said Dr. Vaughn Starnes, who performed the surgery and is co-director of the hospital’s heart institute. “We had to replace his pulmonary valve, and we did it without incident.”

Generally, children with Tetralogy of Fallot can live a normal life after surgery, noted Dr. Ralph Mosca of NYU Langone Medical Center. Doctors indicated that Max Page’s family knew for some time that Max would need a replacement heart valve. Previous efforts to preserve Max’s own pulmonary valve were unsuccessful, due to the degree to which the valve had deteriorated.

Keeping a ‘good attitude’

A young actor, Page has appeared in daytime soap operas like “The Young and the Restless,” as well as nighttime crime shows like “Prime Suspect.” He has been treated for his Tetralogy of Fallot at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles since infancy, and have become a junior ambassador for the hospital.

On Wednesday, Max told reporters that while he was scared of the potential outcome, he resolved to have a “good attitude” about it. Following the successful heart surgery, Page’s mother Jennifer thanked well-wishers for their support.

The Volkswagen Force

In 2011, Max Page donned a child-sized Darth Vader costume in a Volkswagen Passat television commercial that aired during the Super Bowl. Little Darth Vader attempts to use “The Force” to start a clothes dryer and levitate his dog. Neither works, and when he goes outside and tries to start his family’s Passat, it doesn’t work at first. However, dad secretly starts the vehicle by remote control, and Page is astounded by what he thinks are his new-found powers.

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