10-year-old actor Max Page, who is best known for playing mini Darth Vader in a 2011 Super Bowl ad for Volkswagen, received a new heart valve last month…and went home from the hospital the very next day!
Just one day after the new valve, which is called a Melody device, was implanted into Max at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, the little boy was up and about, even practicing golf swings in his hospital room before being released.
“Max was a little sore, but he was able to walk, jump and move for Dr. Ing the morning after surgery,” his mother, Jennifer, said in a statement released by CHLA.
“It’s just amazing to think Max can receive a new heart valve and be out of the hospital in 24 hours,” Max’s father, Buck added. “The last time we were here for open-heart surgery, he had a 10-inch chest scar and he was on morphine for three days. Now he is going home with a couple of Band-Aids and some Tylenol.”
Max, who was born with a congenital heart defect, underwent his first surgery to implant a pacemaker at just 3 months old. The little actor was recently diagnosed with a condition that causes narrowing of the pulmonary valve which had been surgically implanted in 2012, thus restricting blood flow from his heart to his lungs.
The procedure to replace that valve with the Melody device was Max’s 10th operation. Doctors now hope that the new device will reduce the number of invasive surgeries Max will need in the future.
“We had a great result; Max has a new heart valve, and we hope it will last a long time,” Frank Ing, leader of the cardiology team that performed the surgery stated. “His pulmonary valve function has been restored and we avoided open-heart surgery.”
Max, who has recurring roles on The Young and the Restless and I Didn’t Do It, said, “I’m feeling good,” just before being discharged from the hospital. “The staff here is really great and the doctors are very happy.”
Come September, Max will undergo a procedure to have his pacemaker pulse generator replaced, his second operation in 34 days. This device keeps track of Max’s heart rhythm and stimulates the heart with an electrical impulse to maintain an appropriate heart rate.
Max will also require periodic follow-up echocardiograms to monitor the new valve.
“Max will be dealing with this his entire life,” Buck said. “It’s something he’s aware of, but he wants to experience life to the fullest and we want to make sure that he has that.”
Max is one brave, and inspirational, kid.