published Friday, June 15th, 2012

VW’s ‘mini Vader’ OK after surgery

  • photo
    Max Page, 6, played a diminutive Darth Vader in a Volkswagen commercial that has received national attention through YouTube and the NFL Super Bowl. (Photo: Business Wire)

The 7-year-old actor who played a mini-Darth Vader in a 2011 Super Bowl ad for Volkswagen’s Chattanooga-made Passat underwent successful surgery to replace his pulmonary valve Thursday at Children's Hospital Los Angeles, according to NBC.

Hospital spokesman Lorenzo Benet said that Max Page was expected to remain hospitalized until early next week. The recovery time for the operation is about six to eight weeks, he said.

"The surgery today went very well," according to Dr. Vaughn Starnes, who performed the operation and is co-director of The Heart Institute at CHLA. "The surgery took two hours without complications, and he is recovering very well in cardiac ICU.”

Max's mother, Jennifer Page, who was in Chattanooga in May 2011 when her son replayed his Vader role at the plant’s grand opening, said it was a nerve-wracking morning, but the surgery apparently went "extremely well."

"The next 48 hours are so crucial in Max's recovery," she said. "We love the outpouring of support that everyone has shown, and the kindness from strangers, family and friends."

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