Max Page will undergo open-heart surgery to replace a valve. (Photo : theweeklydriver.com)
The boy who starred in one of the most popular Super Bowl commercials of last year is set to undergo open-heart surgery to replace a pulmonary valve.
Max Page, 7, became an overnight sensation after the 2011 commercial for Volkswagen Passat. In it, Max is dressed up as Darth Vader and tries in vain to use "the force" to get ordinary household items-a dryer and the family's pet dog-to act on command. Then he tries to start the car and is surprised when the car turns on, unaware that it was actually started by his father using a remote control.
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The clip quickly became a huge hit in the social media world and was a highly successful campaign for Volkswagen.
Now the young actor will have to undergo surgery at the Children's Hospital Los Angeles to fix a congenital heart defect called Tetralogy of Fallout. About one in every 100 children are born with a heart defect. Children with Tetralogy of Fallot can usually enjoy a very normal life following surgery, said Dr. Ralph Mosca, professor in the department of cardiothoracic surgery and pediatrics at New York University.
Max's heart valve has deteriorated, according to doctors, which is creating a problem for the heart to pump blood into the pulmonary arteries. This will be his eighth, and hopefully last, surgery. But the young star realizes that the operation is needed and has chosen to embrace it with a positive attitude.
"I kind of know I have to go through it, and don't have an option, so I choose a good attitude," Max said. "I'll feel weak after this, but it will get better and better. I think I know it will be a good thing to go through this," he said.