TODAY

TODAY   |  June 19, 2012

Little Darth Vader: ‘I was kinda scared’

NBC’s Miguel Almaguer speaks with 7-year-old Max Page, the kid behind the mask in the iconic Volkswagen ads, about undergoing surgery to install a new heart valve.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> popular darth vader ad is resting at home after being released from the hospital following successful open- heart surgery . this morning we're hearing from matt page himself. nbc's miguel almaguer has the latest on this. miguel, good morning to you.

>> good morning. little max was born with a heart defect . at the age of seven, he's undergone eight surgeries, his latest a complete success for the pint-sized patient who is once again ready to take on the world. as little darth vader he used his powers to capture our imagination. but the boy behind the mask is using his real life story to capture even more hearts.

>> i was kind of scared. but it's all sleep. after that, i don't remember anything in the surgery.

>> reporter: today 7-year-old max page is home from the hospital, on his way to a full recovery after open- heart surgery .

>> i'm excited about a lot of things, especially having a milkshake.

>> reporter: doctors say the valve in max's pulmonary artery was basically nonexistent. in surgery doctors inserted a new pulmonary valve helping his heart function more effectively. the operation will give max the energy to once again run and play like a normal 7-year-old. the surgery saved his life.

>> well, i do feel a little pain in my chest but not much.

>> reporter: but didn't change max's spirit.

>> is this working?

>> reporter: max kept a brave face throughout. but for his parents, the moments before surgery were heart wrenching.

>> there's no feeling like when you actually have to hand your child over, and you hope that you'll see them alive again.

>> reporter: a milkshake a day keeps the tears away.

>> reporter: last week max was planning his busy day at home. his dad says surgery won't slow him down.

>> that little boy , he's still there. it didn't change him. he's full of life, full of energy, engaging, cares about people.

>> reporter: doctors at children's hospital in los angeles say max will be back in full force in no time.

>> his job now is to get his strength back up and get his stamina back up. he'll be back in school on schedule.

>> reporter: art conquering his latest battle little darth vader is back home but not before channeling his inner yoda.

>> if you use your force and dream big , you can achieve anything. we may be small but we're mighty.

>> reporter: he'll spend six weeks at home recovering but as you can see everyone little max vader is recovering.

>> thank you very much.