The young boy who captured America's hearts as a pint-sized Darth Vader in a Volkswagen ad has revealed he is battling a life-threatening heart condition.
Max Page starred in that famous Super Bowl ad for Volkswagen in 2011. In the commercial, Page - then six - dressed as Darth Vader and used the force to turn on his father’s Volkswagen. Little did he know, his dad was actually pressing a button from his keypad.
Max, now 10, has been battling a heart condition almost since the day he was born and he's now recovering from the 11th major surgery of his young life.
“I'm doing all right. Yeah, I’m getting through,” he told INSIDE EDITION.
Max was born with a rare combination of heart defects and he's been undergoing surgeries since he was three months old.
In July, he had a heart valve replaced at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Then this Tuesday, he was back in the operating room yet again, having a new pacemaker fitted.
Now he is recovering from the grueling surgeries at home in San Clemente, California.
“I feel great but then if I move in a way it hurts. I can't go out and play with my friends, I’ve got to stay indoors, so that's been really tough,” he said.
Max's much-needed R&R includes video games with his brother Ellison. Their parents, Jennifer and Buck, are trying to concentrate on his healing.
His mother said: “He's now going to be fully turbocharged. He's going to be a force to reckon with coming up."
His dad added: “He's got a large list of things that he can do and he's ready to get on with those things."
But the frequent surgeries take their toll.
Jennifer said: “The day before, it's hard to pack; it's hard to process anything. And yet you don't want to miss a moment so you try and cram everything in and make sure you've done enough to that point.”
Not surprisingly, Max has a collection of Darth Vader souvenirs, including a lunch box signed, "To Max, May The Force Be With You," by James Earl Jones, whose distinctive voice made the Star Wars villain so unforgettable.
Like millions of others his age, Max is looking forward to the new Star Wars movie.
He said: “It looks really cool. I can't wait. I might be the first one at the movie theater.”
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