'Little Darth Vader' to undergo open-heart surgery

'Little Darth Vader' to undergo open-heart surgery
Max Page is seen during a hospital visit.
Los Angeles, CA (KTLA) -- Max Page, the 7-year-old who was the face behind the force in Volkswagen's popular Super Bowl commercial, is getting ready to undergo open-heart surgery.

The operation -- Max's eighth surgery -- will be performed at Children's Hospital Los Angeles on Thursday.

Max was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect when he was just 3 months old.

His mother, Jennifer, described his condition on the Today Show last year.

"He had his first surgery at 3 months old at Children's Hospital Los Angeles, and from then they saved his life and gave him back to us," she said.



"About a week after his first surgery, he had to have a pacemaker put in," she explained.

Now that Max is older, Children's Heart Institute's chief of cardiology says its time to fix a small artery they created for him as a baby to accommodate the blood flow of a growing boy.

Dr. Michael Silka says that surgeons will "create effectively a normal connection between the heart and the blood vessels in the lungs."

They'll insert a tube between the right pumping chamber and the main artery to the lungs. Max is expected to be in the hospital for about five days.

His parents say that Max is nervous about the operation, but they're helping him keep a positive attitude.

Jennifer told the Today Show's Ann Curry that, on the night they told Max about the surgery, she and her son stayed up and made a "can-do" list of all the things he'll be able to do while he recovers -- like watching movies and playing Nintendo Wii.

The family has also transformed their house, giving each room a unique theme for Max to enjoy when he gets home.

Page starred as a pint-sized Darth Vader in a 2011 Super Bowl commercial for the Volkswagen Passat.

He's also had roles on The Young and the Restless and Prime Suspect. Max has also become an official junior ambassador for Children's Hospital Los Angeles.

"This is not gonna hold Max back," Silka said.

Doctors say they believe this could be Max's final surgery to fix his heart defect.