Max Page: The Boy Behind Darth Vader’s Mask

[Update June 13, 2012]  Max Page, the little boy who entertained millions playing a mini Darth Vader in a 2011 Super Bowl ad, will undergo surgery to replace a pulmonary heart valve on June 14 at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Read our recent blog post about Max’s upcoming heart surgery.

 

Super Bowl Com­­mercial Features Heart Patient

At the tender age of 6, Max Page has already made a name for himself as an actor. The young man is a member of the cast of “The Young and the Restless,” and is gaining fame as the mini Darth Vader in a Volkswagen ad that has quickly become a YouTube sensation.

It’s hard to imagine that at 3 months of age, Max was diagnosed with Tetralogy of Fallot, a congenital heart defect in children. At that time, Buck and Jennifer Page brought their infant son to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles for treatment.

In the ad (featured below), Max dons a Darth Vader costume. He revealed his identity in a press conference at our hospital, with the commercial scheduled to air during the NFL’s Super Bowl XLV.

Parents Jennifer and Buck Page, returned to the hospital with both Max and his brother, Ellison, to visit with Michael Silka, MD.  Head of our Division of Cardiology and Max’s pediatric cardiologist, Dr. Silka spoke very  positively about his energetic young patient.

Max’s prognosis going forward is very good,” Silka says. “He can essentially have normal activity and with careful care, a full life is a reasonable expectation.”

As for Max’s parents, they see this attention as an opportunity to reach out to parents whose children suffer from heart conditions.

“When we first received the diagnosis, we were lost,” Buck explains. After going through the experience, they learned firsthand how traumatic it can be as a parent of a child with a serious ailment.

Mr. and Mrs. Page hope that in sharing their experience, they can help other parents of sick children understand they are not alone.

“Before our experience with Max, I would walk through the hospital and see sick children and be afraid to look at them,” Buck says.  ”Now, I make a point to look them all in the eye and say, ‘Hello.’”

Click here to see more photos on Flickr.

 

  • Joanie Dorsey

    I had my first Open Heart Surgery at Children’s for TOF in 1956. I thank them for my life everyday.

  • vicki

    just saw this posted on my facebook page thru CHIN. your son is absolutely adorable! I will show this to my son who has TOF and even though he is older than your son, needs to see that whatever he sets his mind to, he can do!

    one day, when he is rich and famous, your son can be a wonderful CHD spokesman, actually, he already is!

  • Lisa

    My daughter was also born with TOF. She just had her 2nd surgery. Like Max, she doesn’t let anything stop her! Way to go Max and all the children who don’t let this stop them :-)

  • John Little

    A) This was my favorite Superbowl commercial by far.

    B) I’m also a TOF kid. Granted, my first surgery was in ’78 at Egleston Children’s Hospital at Emory University… but I’ve had such a full life and am working on my PhD.

    C) Yay Max!!!!!

  • Kevin

    I am a 41 year old male with the exact same condition. I can tell you Max that you are an inspiration to even an old dude like me. Great ad, my favorite even before I heard the side story behind it.

  • http://lafd.blogspot.com Brian Humphrey

    How fortunate we are to have young Max Page among us, made possible by a hospital and staff that truly ‘get-it’. Kudos to you Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and thanks for the inspiration. It is an honor beyond words to work alongside your staff each day.

    Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,

    Brian Humphrey
    Firefighter/Specialist
    Public Service Officer
    Los Angeles Fire Department

  • http://www.pubtel.net Clay Brown

    This was by far the best commercial on Super Bowl Sunday! We have worked with CHLA for years and found Max’s story simply incredible and inspiring.

    So much so, that we wrote a blog article about Max and CHLA; thank you for the miracles your organization works with our children everyday

  • http://twitter.com/mckra1g mckra1g

    I had my correction for TOF in 1974 at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. Since that time, I ran track, was on drill team, class president in high school, graduated college and had three daughters, the youngest of whom is now 16.

    It’s always neat to see other folks out there like us, Max. Psst – The Flying Tomato is also someone who had the correction.

    Your commercial makes me laugh every time I see it. Your wee little hands are adorable and I wish you every success in the world. :)

  • SPLee

    You’re a great kid Max! What a talented actor you are. God bless!

  • Stephanie

    I love seeing the wonderful things that these heart patients are doing. It helps me to reinforce what I’ve always told my son, who also has TOF — that he can do anything!

    Go Max!

  • amal

    Hi Max! :] i think you are absolutely adorable, and I admire that they put you in this commercial. I have the same heart problem as you, and people for years have not known that the heart problem TOF exists. Thank you so much for being in this commercial. Don’t ever worry about what you have. Be proud of it, it’s who you are :D .

    Sincerely,
    Amal

  • Melissa

    My nephew was born just 3 days ago and we found out yesterday that he has TOF. Coming on this website and reading Max’s story as well as all of your comments, has brought me comfort and encouragement during this difficult time.

    Thank you for sharing your story and keep pursuing your dreams. And remember, when someone tells you can’t, show them you CAN!!

  • Amber H.

    My son is 3 with TOF also and has already had one surgery. The doctor says he will need a valve replacement in the future. My thoughts and prayers are with you for a successful surgery! Thank God for the wonderful things that can be done these days and great surgeons!

  • David

    Great luck with your surgery Max. Your commercial is my favorite of all time:). My son Maddox and I still watch it today:). Hope you’re feeling better soon!

    Take care,
    Dave Brzuz
    Erie,PA

  • Robert

    I was born with TOF and underwent surgery at the age of 3 in 1966. (University of Minnesota). I have lived a normal, happy, and productive live. I wish the same for Max, and send love to all of my fellow TOF survivors and their families!

  • Beth Fullerton

    Max,
    Just wanted to let you know that I will be praying for you today. My great nephew was born with CHD and has had 2 surgeries so far a Arkansas Children’s Hospital. He is 3 and is our miracle baby. Take care and don’t worry about having to miss one summer of baseball, it sounds like you have an awesome set up in your house waiting for you when you get home. The time will go by faster than you think and next summer will be here before you know it. God bless you and your family,
    Beth

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