'Darth Vader Boy' Is Now Walking 'Around a Little Bit' After Heart Surgery

Max Page Now Walking After Heart Surgery
Max Page (left) and brother Els, before surgery, on June 14, 2012
Courtesy Jennifer Page

updated 06/17/2012 at 03:00 PM EDT

originally published 06/18/2012 07:00AM

The Force seems to be with Max Page, the boy who channeled Darth Vader in the ever-popular (and ever-adorable) Volkswagen Super Bowl commercial.

After undergoing open-heart surgery Thursday, the 7-year-old is continuing to make progress.

"Max had a great night," his mother, Jennifer Page, said Sunday, according to a spokesperson for the Children's Hospital Los Angeles. "This morning, he is able to get himself out of bed and walk around a little bit."

It's another move forward on the road to recovery for Max, who was smiling, talking and giving his mom "the thumbs up" by Friday.



"I am happy," Max said Saturday, according to Page, and he is also raising money for patients who can't afford treatments at the children's hospital. (Donations can be made here.)

Children's Hospital Los Angeles attending physician Dr. Sylvia Del Castillo said Max is "in very good condition." The young actor, who's had recurring roles on The Young and the Restless and Prime Suspect, is on medication for his blood pressure, which, as of Saturday, was keeping him in the intensive care unit at the hospital.

For now, Max, who was born with a congenital heart defect, is focusing on the simple things, like blowing bubbles and drinking juice.

"Last night he said, 'How do I get all these things off me?' " his mom recalled. "So we wrote a goal list on the white board." Other goals: sitting in a chair, walking and eating.

Max has previously undergone several operations, including Thursday's surgery to replace a pulmonary valve. The new, small adult-sized valve should last 10 to 15 years.

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