Max Page, the little boy who won America’s heart in 2011 as the little Darth Vader who used “the force” to start his family’s Volkswagen, has been facing big challenges all his life. He was born with a congenital heart defect and on Wednesday (June 13) will undergo his eighth heart surgery in seven years. The goal of the surgery is to repair a hole in his heart and replace his pulmonary valve.
Dr. Michael Silka of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles tells “Today” that the artery that carries the blood between the heart and the lungs is almost the size of an infant’s artery – he likens it to trying to pump gas through a straw.
“Doctors have told us Max has not known how good he can feel … so this is going to enable him to become even more active, which is hard to believe,” Buck Page, Max’s father, tells Ann Curry in an interview.
Jennifer Page, Max’s mom, also has shared via press release what Max has said about the surgery: “Mom, I don’t have a choice. I have to go through it. I don’t like it and it’s still scary, but I have to, so I think I might as well go through it with a good attitude.”
Max’s parents also tell “Today” that he is taking a pair of Darth Vader headphones with him to the surgery and when they asked him why, he said, “Because when I’m Darth, I feel strong.”